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LIBRARY 

OF  THE 

UNIVERSITY  OF  CALIFORNIA. 


GIFT  OF 


C/ass 


OF  THE 

UNIVERSITY 

OF 


GENBBAL  SIBLEY. 


HISTORY 


OF 


THE    SIOUX    WAK 


3fia0B0m0  nf  1862  atifr  1863, 


BY 


ISAAC   Y.  D.  HEAKD. 


WITH   PORTRAITS   AND    ILLUSTRATIONS. 


NEW    YORK: 

HARPER  &  BROTHERS,  PUBLISHERS, 

FBANKLIN    SQUARE. 

1863. 


Entered,  according  to  Act  of  Congress,  in  the  year  one  thousand 
eight  hundred  and  sixty-three,  by 

HARPER  &  BROTHERS, 

In  the  Clerk's  Office  of  the  District  Court  of  the  Southern  District 
of  New  York. 


PREFACE. 


THE  writer  of  the  following  pages  has  resided  in 
the  State  of  Minnesota  twelve  years,  commencing  at  a 
time  anterior  to  the  removal  of  the  Sioux  from  their 
ancient  possessions  to  their  reservations  upon  the 
Minnesota  Eiver.  He  was  a  member  of  General  Sib- 
ley's  expedition  against  the  savages  in  1862,  from  its 
arrival  at  St.  Peter's  in  August  until  its  return  in  No 
vember,  and  acted  as  the  Eecorder  of  the  Military 
Commission  which  tried  some  four  hundred  of  the 
participants  in  the  outbreak.  During  that  time  and 
since,  he  devoted  particular  attention  to  obtaining 
from  Indians,  half-breeds,  traders,  white  captives,  fu 
gitives  from  massacres,  and  others,  particulars  of  the 
various  outrages  and  the  causes  of  the  massacre.  He 
has  also  carefully  read  the  public  treaties  and  other 
documents  connected  with  Indian  affairs,  and  the  vari 
ous  newspaper  articles  pertinent  thereto. 

From  the  information  thus  derived,  he  has  endeav 
ored  to  form  a  connected  and  reliable  history.  He 
regrets  that  the  haste  required  to  place  it  before  the 
public,  while  attention  is  directed  to  the  subject,  has 
militated  against  the  symmetry  of  arrangement  and 
finish  of  composition  which  should  accompany  such  a 

^ 


VI  PREFACE. 

work.  It  was  his  desire  that  portraits  of  Colonel 
Crooks,  Colonel  Miller,  Major  Brown,  Major  Forbes, 
the  Eev.  S.  K.  Riggs,  and  other  noted  men  connected 
with  the  war,  accompanied  by  personal  notices,  should 
have  a  place  in  the  volume,  but  the  publishers  were 
not  willing  to  incur  the  addititional  expense. 

He  avails  himself  of  this  opportunity  to  acknowl 
edge  his  great  indebtedness  to  Mr.  Antoine  Frenier, 
the  Sioux  interpreter,  for  his  patient  interpretation  of 
the  many  interviews  he  found  it  necessary  to  hold 
with  the  Indians.  He  now  submits  the  result  of  his 
labors  to  the  charitable  perusal  of  the  reader. 

New  York  City,  September  30, 1863. 


CONTENTS. 


CHAPTER  I. 

THE  SCENE  AND  THE  ACTORS. 

The  Actors. — Travelers  and  Traders. — Treaties. — Condition  of  the 
Indians. — Little  Crow. — The  Reservations Page  13 

CHAPTER  II. 

CAUSES   OF   THE    OUTBREAK. 

Predisposition  to  Hostility. — Extortion  of  the  Traders. — Corruptions 
in  the  Indian  Department. — Red  Iron  and  Governor  Ramsey. — 
Lean  Bear. — Sufferings  of  the  Indians. — Intense  Excitement. — 
Visit  of  the  Sissetons  and  Wahpetons  to  the  Upper  Agency. — The 
Lower  Agency. — The  Lower  Reservation. — The  "  Soldiers' Lodge." 
—Council  at  Rice  Creek 3t 

CHAPTER  III. 

A     SPARK     OP    FIRE. 

A  Quarrel. — A  Murder. — The  Alarm  given 52 

CHAPTER  IV. 

COMMENCEMENT   OP   THE   MASSACRES   AND   THE   BATTLE    OF   RED 
WOOD   FERRY. 

Council  at  Crow's  House. — The  "Signal-gun"  and  the  Attack. — Es 
cape  of  Rev.  Mr.  Hindman. — Burning  of  "the  Agency." — Flight 
on  all  sides. — Captain  Marsh  and  the  Fifth  Minnesota  Volunteers. 
— Battle  at  the  Ferry. — Council  of  Upper  Indians. — Other  Day  59 

CHAPTER  V. 

THE  ATTACKS  UPON  NEW  ULM  AND  FORT  RIDGELT. 

The  Alarm  given  at  St.  Peter's. — Re-enforcement  of  Fort  Ridgely. — 
Fight  at  New  Ulm. — Attack  on  Fort  Ridgely  by  Little  Crow. — 
Arrival  of  the  Upper  Indians. — General  Engagement  at  New  Ulm. 
— Repulse  of  the  Indians 78 


Vlll  CONTENTS. 

CHAPTER  VI. 

FARTHER  OUTRAGES  DURING  THE  FIRST  WEEK  OF  THE  OUTBREAK. 

Murders  at  Yellow  Medicine  Agency. — Lean  Bear,  White  Lodge, 
and  Sleepy  Eyes  at  Lake  Shetek  Settlement. — Horrible  Outrage. 
— Lady  Captives. — Story  of  Mrs.  Hurd. — Tidings  of  the  Massaci-e 
reach  St.  Paul. — Exciting  Rumors Page  96 

CHAPTER  VII. 

FORCES    DISPATCHED    TO    THE    FRONTIER. 

Sibley  moves  up  the  Valley. — Arrival  of  Troops  at  New  Ulm  and 
Fort  Ridgely. — No  Indians  found 117 

CHAPTER  VIII. 

BIRCH    COOLIE. 

Major  J.  R.  Brown  dispatched  to  the  Lower  Agency. — Fate  of  the 
Expedition. — Battle  of  Birch  Coolie 131 

CHAPTER  IX. 

THE    WAR    PARTY   TO    THE    BIG    WOODS. 

Pursuit  of  Captain  Strout's  Force  by  Little  Crow. — Fort  Abercrombic 
besieged 138 

CHAPTER  X. 

THE     CAPTIVES. 

Little  Crow  disposed  to  Peace. — Troubles  between  Upper  and  Lower 
Indians. — Paul's  Speech  to  the  Lower  Indians. — Little  Crow  writes 
to  Colonel  Sibley. — Disputes  as  to  Delivery  of  Prisoners 143 

CHAPTER  XL 

UPWARD   MARCH   AND    BATTLE    OF    WOOD    LAKE. 

Breaking  up  of  Camp  at  Fort  Ridgely. — Battle  of  Wood  Lake. — Oth 
er  Day's  Pledge 167 

CHAPTER  XII. 

CAMP      RELEASE. 

Need  of  Cavalry. — Release  of  Captives. — Military  Commission  ap 
pointed. — Godfrey 181 

CHAPTER  XIII. 
GODFREY'S    STORY. 

Godfrey's  personal  History.— Painted  by  the  Indians.— What  Godfrey 
did  and  what  he  saw 191 


CONTENTS.  ix 

CHAPTER  XIV. 

CAPTIVITY   OP   THE   FAMILY   OP   JOSEPH   R.   BROWN. 

Narrative  of  Samuel  Brown.— The  Warning.— Encounter  with  the 
Indians.— Cut-nose.— Little  Crow's  Protection Page  202 

CHAPTER  XV. 

MRS.   HUGGINS'S    STORY. 

A  sad  Birthday.— Alarm  at  Lac  qui  Parle.— The  Flight.— Walking 
Spirit. — Sacred  Nest. — Good  Day's  Proposition. —A  Fright. — A 
long  Journey 209 

CHAPTER  XVI. 

HOMEWARD    BOUND. 

A  Hurricane. — Homeward  March.— Trials  at  the  Lower  Agency. — 
The  Prairie  Fire. — Attack  on  the  Prisoners  at  New  Ulm. — Esti 
mate  of  Losses  in  1862. — Incomplete  Preparation. — Loss  of  the  In 
dians <* 231 

CHAPTER  XVII. 

TRIALS    OP    THE    PRISONERS. 

Trial  of  Godfrey. — Punishment  commuted. — Manner  of  Proceeding. 
— Excuses  of  the  Prisoners. — Humors  of  the  Court-room. — Cut- 
nose.  —  Sentences  given  and  their  Justice.  —  Instances  of  New 
England  "Barbarity" 251 

CHAPTER  XVIII. 

EXECUTION. 

Reading  of  the  President's  Order  to  the  sentenced. — Regulations. — 
Statements  of  the  Prisoners.  —  Death-dance  and  Song. — Ascent 
of  the  Scaffold.— The  Execution  and  Burial 272 

CHAPTER  XIX. 

DEATH   OF   LITTLE    CROW. 

Devil's  Lake. — Little  Crow  at  St.  Joseph.— Renewed  Massacres. — 
Little  Crow  shot  by  Mr.  Lampson  and  "done  up"  for  the  Historical 
Society. — Son  of  Little  Crow 296 

CHAPTER  XX. 

THRILLING  AND  FATAL  ADVENTURE  OF  MESSRS.  BRACKETT  AND 
FREEMAN. 

Mr.  Brackett's  Narrative. — Encounter  with  the  Indians. — Freeman 
shot. — Lone  Prairie  Grave 313 

A  2 


X  CONTENTS. 

CHAPTER  XXI. 

THE   BATTLES    ON   THE   MISSOURI. 

The  Battle  of  Big  Mound. — Battle  of  Dead  Buffalo  Lake. — Battle  of 
Stony  Lake. —  Skirmish  on  the  Missouri. Page  321 

CHAPTER  XXII. 

THE   FUTURE. 

Continuance  of  Hostilities. — Disaffection  among  the  Tribes. — Danger 
of  War  with  the  Chippeways. — Cost  of  the  Sioux  War. — Some 
practical  Suggestions 337 


APPENDIX. 

AN   APPEAL   FOR   THE    RED   MAN. 

By  Bishop  Whipple,  of  Minnesota 343 


LIST  OF  ILLUSTRATIONS, 


PAGE 

Portrait  of  General  Sibley Frontispiece. 

Indian  Tepees 15 

House  of  Chaska,  a  civilized  Indian 19 

Dr.  Williamson's  House 23 

Squaws  winnowing  Wheat ; 29 

Little  Crow 60 

The  Captive  saved 63 

Other  Day 75 

Charles  E.  Flandreau 79 

Escape  of  the  Missionaries 87 

Mrs.Estlick  and  Children 110 

Hole-in-the-Day 114= 

Red  Iron 155 

Standing  Buffalo 160 

Little  Paul 166 

W.E.Marshall 174 

Indian  Camp  taken  by  Colonel  Sibley 180 

Old  Betz 182 

Camp  Release 183 

Indian  Boy 185 

Cut-nose 204 

Wild-Goose-Nest  Lake 230 

Indian  Camp  at  Red-Wood 233 

The  Court-house  of  the  Military  Commission 238 

Prairie  on  Fire 241 

The  Attack  at  New  Ulm 245 

Camp  Lincoln 249 

Interior  of  Indian  Jail 273 

One  of  the  executed  Indians 292 

Devil's  Lake 297 

St.  Joseph,  from  Pembina 301 

Fort  Garry 305 

Lone  Prairie  Grave...                                             320 


A**?v 

OF   THE  A 

UNIVERSITY   1 
J 


THE  SIOUX  WAR  AND  MASSACRE, 


CHAPTEK  I. 

THE   SCENE   AND  THE   ACTORS. 

IN  the  month  of  August,  1862,  the  Indians  of  the 
Upper  Minnesota  initiated  a  massacre  which  stands 
prominent  in  the  bloody  drama  which  attends  the  ad 
vance  of  the  white  race  across  the  continent.  The 
atrocities  by  which'  it  was  attended — the  attempt  of 
the  actors  to  enlist  other  savage  tribes  on  their  behalf 
— the  mysterious  part  enacted  by  the  negro  Godfrey, 
who  received  from  the  Indians  the  name  of  "  Otakle," 
or  "he  who  kills  many" — the  course  of  their  great 
orator  and  chief,  Little  Crow,  who  was  not  second  to 
Philip,  Pontiac,  or  Tecumseh — the  perilous  condition 
of  the  captive  whites,  their  shameful  treatment,  and 
the  peculiar  manner  in  which  their  deliverance  was 
accomplished — the  trial  of  over  four  hundred  of  the 
accu^W,  and  the  simultaneous  execution  of  thirty- 
eight  of  their  number,  are  full  of  thrilling  interest. 

Those  engaged  in  the  massacre  were,  with  but  few 
exceptions,  members  of  the  M'dewakanton,  Wahpe- 
kuta,Wahpeton,  and  Sisseton  tribes  of  the  great  Sioux, 
or  Dakota  nation.  They  formerly  occupied  the  north 
eastern  portion  of  Iowa,  part  of  the  western  border  of 
Wisconsin,  the  southwestern  half  of  the  State  of  Min 
nesota,  and  adjoining  possessions  in  Dakota ;  a  vast, 


14  THE   SIOUX   WAR   AND   MASSACRE. 

fertile,  and  beautiful  land,  with  great  undulating  plains, 
over  which  herds  of  buffalo  roamed;  with  groves  and 
woodlands  in  which  the  deer  found  a  hiding-place; 
with  countless  lakes,  and  streams,  and  mighty  rivers 
filled  with  choicest  fish,  and  swarming  with  myriads 
of  wild-fowl,  the  duck,  the  goose,  the  swan,  and  the 
brant ;  and  their  shores  alive  with  the  otter,  the  mink, 
and  the  beaver. 

Their  existence,  customs,  and  manner  of  life  have 
long  been  familiar  to  the  whites.  A  hundred  years 
before  the  American  Kevolution,  the  adventurous  Hen- 
nepin,  the  first  man  who  gave  to  the  world  a  drawing 
of  the  cataract  of  Niagara,  visited  them,  and  on  his  re 
turn  published  a  narrative  of  his  adventures.  Carver, 
Nicollet,  Long,  Schoolcraft,  Cass,  Fremont,  Marryatt, 
and  other  travelers  of  repute,  followed  afterward.  Cat- 
lin,  the  great  Indian  painter,  has  preserved  the  faces 
of  their  prominent  chiefs  on  his  immortal  canvas,  and 
Schiller  and  Longfellow  have  sung  of  them  in  their 
melodious  verse. 

As  early  as  1700  Dakotas  visited  Montreal,  and 
Wabashaw,  their  head  chief,  was  received  at  Mackinaw 
with  greater  honors  than  the  Choctaws,  Chickasaws, 
and  Ojibeways,  who  were  also  present.  The  British 
officer  in  command  wrote  a  song  in  honor  of  his  com 
ing,  of  which  the  following  is  the  last  refrain  : 

"  Hail  to  great  Wabashaw ! 

Soldiers !  your  triggers  draw ! 
Guards!  wave  the  colors,  and  give  him  the  drum  ; 

Choctaw  and  Chickasaw, 

Whoop  for  great  Wabashaw, 
Raise  the  portcullis,  the  king's  friend  is  come." 

Quickly  following  the  earliest  traveler  came  the 


THE 

UNIVERSITY 

OF 


THE   SCENE   AND   THE   ACTOKS.  17 

traders,  to  exchange  the  commodities  of  civilization 
for  furs,  and,  intoxicated  with  the  wild  and  romantic 
life,  and  supplied  by  their  principals  at  home  with 
luxuries,  intermarried  with  the  natives,  and  establish 
ed  themselves  permanently  in  the  country. 

At  first  they  were  received  unwillingly,  and  occa 
sional  difficulties  arose ;  but  so  necessary  were  they  to 
supply  the  increased  wants  of  the  Indian,  that  when 
the  English  withdrew  their  traders  from  the  country 
on  account  of  the  murder  of  one  of  their  number,  and 
refused  to  allow  their  return  until  the  guilty  parties 
were  delivered  for  punishment,  Wabashaw,  the  grand 
father  of  the  present  chief  of  that  name,  to  relieve  the 
distress  of  his  people,  worked  his  toilsome  way  to  Que 
bec,  and  gave  himself  up  to  be  punished  in  the  place 
of  the  murderer,  who  could  not  be  found. 

So,  too,  when  the  war  of  1812  broke  out,  these 
tribes,  although  they  had  made  a  treaty  of  peace  with 
the  United  States,  and  ceded  a  tract  of  land  at  the 
mouth  of  the  Minnesota  for  the  establishment  of  a 
military  post,  were  easily  induced  by  the  traders,  who 
were  English  subjects,  to  act  as  the  allies  of  their  gov 
ernment,  and  they  composed  a  portion  of  the  forces 
which  compelled  the  surrender  of  the  post  at  Macki 
naw  and  besieged  Fort  Meigs. 

Some  time  after  peace  was  declared  our  own  trad 
ers  gained  a  foothold,  and  in  1825  a  convention  was 
entered  into  at  Prairie  du  Chien  between  the  tribes  and 
the  United  States,  by  which  it  was  agreed  that  every 
act  of  hostility  committed  by  either  of  the  contracting 
parties  against  the  other  should  be  mutually  forgot 
ten  and  forgiven,  and  that  perpetual  peace  and  amity 
should  thereafter  exist  between  them.  In  1830  and 


18  THE   SIOUX  WAR  AND  MASSACRE. 

1836  they  ceded  part  of  their  lands  in  Iowa,  and  in 

1837  all  that  portion  lying  east  of  the  Mississippi 
Eiver.     In  1849  Minnesota  was  organized  as  a  terri 
tory,  and  the  emigration  rapidly  settling  upon  the 
eastern  shore  of  the  Mississippi  soon  began  to  require 
and  encroach  upon  the -more  fertile  country  opposite. 

So  in  1851  the  Indians  were  induced  to  sign  treat 
ies  by  which  they  transferred  to  the  United  States 
over  thirty  millions  of  acres,  embracing  all  their  lands 
in  Iowa,  Dakota,  and  Minnesota,  except  a  tract  along 
the  Upper  Minnesota,  which  they  reserved  for  their 
future  occupancy  and  home.  This  commenced  just 
below  Fort  Eidgely,  and  extended  150  miles  to  Lake 
Traverse,  with  a  width  of  ten  miles  on  each  side  of 
the  river. 

The  Senate  in  1852  approved  the  treaty,  provided 
that  the  Indians  would  agree  to  an  amendment  by 
which  the  reservation  should  also  be  ceded,  and  they 
be  located  in  such  land  as  the  President  should  select ; 
and  to  this  the  Indians  assented.  The-' President  nev 
er  having  made  the  selection  contemplated,  and  the 
Indians  having  moved  upon  the  reservation  made  in 
the  first  treaties,  the  government  recognized  their 
right  to  its  possession,  and  in  1858,  by  treaties  which 
were  approved  in  1860,  purchased  from  them  all  that 
portion  of  the  tract  on  the  north  side  of  the  river. 
They  continued  to  reside  on  the  remainder  until  the 
outbreak,  the  M'dewakantons  and  "Wahpekutas  occu 
pying  in  common  all  below  the  Yellow  Medicine  Eiv 
er,  which  was  called  the  "Lower  Eeservation,"  and 
the  other  two  tribes  the  part  above  the  river,  which 
was  styled  the  "  Upper  Eeservation." 

Pursuant  to  the  various  treaties,  large  amounts  of 


THE   SCENE   AND   THE   ACTORS.  21 

money  and  goods  were  annually  delivered  to  them, 
and  labor  performed  for  their  benefit.  For  the  super 
intendence  of  these  matters,  an  agent  resided  among 
them,  and  two  places  for  the  transaction  of  business 
were  established,  one  fourteen  miles  above  Fort  Kidge- 
ly,  on  the  Minnesota  Kiver,  and  known  as  the  "Low 
er"  or  "Kedwood  Agency,"  and  the  other  at  the 
mouth  of  the  Yellow  Medicine,  and  designated  as  the 
"Upper"  or  "Yellow  Medicine  Agency." 

The  habitations  of  the  Indians  were  of  a  very  com 
fortable  character.  Some  lived  in  low  circular  houses, 
made  by  themselves  from  wood,  and  covered  with 
bark ;  others  in  brick  houses  a  story  and  a  half  high, 
constructed  by  the  government ;  and  others  in  tepees 
of  canvas,  resembling  the  Sibley  tent  now  in  use  in 
our  army,  which  was  modeled  after  their  tepees  by  the 
rebel  General  Sibley  when  stationed  in  Minnesota. 

The  different  bands,  under  their  hereditary  chief,  oc 
cupied  separate  villages,  with  the  exception  of  some 
hundred  families  who  had  been  induced  by  divers  con 
siderations  to  become  "  white  men,"  and  who  lived  to 
gether  without  distinction  of  bands.  They  had  their 
hair  cut  short,  wore  coats  and  pantaloons,  attended 
church  and  schools,  cultivated  the  soil,  elected  their 
president  or  chief  after  the  manner  of  a  republic,  were 
married  by  a  clergyman,  and  buried  their  dead  in  the 
ground.  The  others  remained  Indians,  left  their  hair 
unshorn,  wore  the  breechcloth,  blanket,  and  leggins, 
married  as  many  wives  as  they  pleased,  after  their  own 
fashion,  placed  their  dead  on  scaffoldings  in  the  open 
air,  made  themselves  brave  with  paint  and  with  the 
feathers  of  the  eagle,  went  upon  the  war-path  against 
the  Chippeways,  and  tortured,  killed,  scalped,  and  mu- 


22  THE   SIOUX  WAR  AND   MASSACRE. 

tilated  men,  women,  and  children.  In  addition  to  the 
Indian  population  were  many  half-breeds  or  mixed- 
bloods,  and  a  large  number  of  whites,  consisting  of 
traders,  employes  of  the  government,  and  others. 
Around  the  agencies  were  churches,  and  schools,  and 
warehouses,  and  stores,  and  residences,  and  shops, 
forming  thriving  villages.  A  few  miles  above  the 
Yellow  Medicine  were  the  churches  and  schools  of  the 
Eev.  S.  E.  Briggs  and  Dr.  Williamson,  long  missiona 
ries  among  the  Sioux.  At  Lac  qui  Parle  there  was 
the  dwelling-house  and  school  of  another  missionary, 
the  Eev.  Mr.  Huggins,  and  a  store-house  and  black 
smith-shop  belonging  to  the  government ;  and  on  Big 
Stone  Lake,  at  the  upper  extreme  of  the  reservation, 
and  at  other  points,  trading-posts  were  established. 
The  reservation  was  fertile  and  well  adapted  to  farm 
ing  purposes.  There  was  an  excellent  road  through 
it,  upon  which  had  recently  been  placed,  over  the 
sloughs  and  streams,  eighteen  well-constructed  bridges, 
two  of  them  fifty  and  one  sixty-seven  feet  in  length. 
About  three  thousand  acres  had  been  plowed,  fenced, 
and  planted,  and  which,  as  was  afterward  estimated, 
would  have  yielded,  had  the  Indians  remained  and 
made  a  proper  harvesting,  over  one  hundred  thousand 
bushels  of  corn,  potatoes,  and  turnips,  besides  five 
hundred  bushels  of  wheat,  and  large  quantities  of 
beans,  peas,  pumpkins,  and  other  vegetables.  At  both 
agencies  were  saw -mills  and  corn -mills,  and  at  the 
upper  agency  a  brick-yard,  where  was  manufactured 
a  fine  article  similar  to  that  made  from  the  Milwaukee 
clay ;  also  at  both  agencies  were  blacksmith  and  car 
penter  shops,  where  wagons,  sleds,  and  farming  uten 
sils  were  made,  and  other  ordinary  work  done.  The 


THE  SCENE   AND   THE  ACTOES.  25 

Indians  had  plows,  hoes,  scythes,  cradles,  ox-gear 
ing,  harness,  carts,  wagons,  and  the  usual  farming  im 
plements,  and  oxen,  cows,  calves,  and  sheep,  and 
horses.*  Large  quantities  of  hay  had  been  cut  and 
partially  cured,  and  the  materials  for  the  erection  of 
some  seventy  or  eighty  new  buildings  prepared.  The 
"  Farmer"  Indians  had  coats,  pants,  shirts,  coffee,  tea, 
salt,  sugar,  candles,  soap,  vinegar,  molasses,  rice,  and 
lard,  and  tubs,  buckets,  churns,  hardware,  and  queens- 
ware,  and  other  household  articles.  New  blacksmith 
shops  were  being  put  in  operation  at  different  points, 
and  at  the  "  Lower  Agency"  a  bed  of  clay  suitable  for 
the  manufacture  of  brick,  and  similar  to  the  one  at 
Yellow  Medicine,  had  been  discovered,  and  work  com 
menced  upon  it  for  the  purpose. 

The  agent,  Mr.  Galbraith,  who  was  energetic  and 
faithful,  visited  the  whole  reservation  shortly  before 
the  outbreak,  arid  congratulated  himself  on  the  thriv 
ing  appearance  of  affairs.  A  conversation  which  he 
had  with  Little  Crow,  their  head  chief,  three  days  be 
fore  the  fatal  18th  of  August,  furnished  no  indica 
tion  of  what  was  about  to  transpire.  Being  aware  of 
Crow's  influence  among  the  Blanket  Indians,  Mr.  Gal 
braith  had  previously  promised  to  build  him  a  good 
house  if  he  would  aid  in  bringing  around  the  idle 
young  men  to  habits  of  industry  and  civilization,  and 
would  abandon  the  leadership  of  the  Blanket  Indians. 
Crow  assented  to  this,  and  the  carpenter-work  had 
been  ordered  and  nearly  completed ;  and  in  the  con 
versation  before  alluded  to,  Little  Crow  selected  a  lo 
cation  for  it,  and  seemed  to  be  well  pleased  with  its 
position.  He  had  shortly  before  been  defeated  for  the 

*  See  Agent  Galbraith's  Report. 

B 


26  THE   SIOUX  WAR  AND   MASSACRE. 

speakership  of  the  Lower  Indians,  but  he  said  he  cared 
nothing  about  this,  for,  if  elected,  the  other  Indians 
would  be  jealous  of  him.  He  stated  he  had  a  store,  a 
yoke  of  oxen,  a  wagon,  and  plenty  of  corn  and  pota 
toes,  and  was  now  living  more  comfortably  than  ever 
before.  He  said  he  had  just  been  grinding  his  scythe 
to  cut  hay,  and  that  two  or  three  of  his  young  rela 
tives  were  coming  to  help  him,  and  that  they  would 
soon  cure  enough  for  winter.  There  was  a  young  In 
dian  of  his  band  present  who,  Crow  said,  could  make 
good  gunstocks,  and  he  showed  a  well-finished  stock 
which  he  had  made,  and  requested  that  he  should  have 
sent  to  him  a  set  of  tools  with  which  to  work.  Crow 
had  spoken  of  this  before,  and  Galbraith  told  him  he 
had  sent  for  a  complete  set,  and  that  they  would  soon 
arrive.  These,  he  said,  were  all  the  requests  he  had 
to  make,  and  believed  they  would  be  complied  with. 
So  far  removed  from  the  agent's  thoughts  was  the 
terrible  tragedy  which  afterward  ensued,  that  the  day 
before  its  occurrence,  leaving  his  family  at  Yellow 
Medicine  among  the  Indians,  he  started  for  Fort  Snel- 
ling  with  some  forty-five  men  whom  he  had  recruit 
ed  on  the  reservation,  consisting  of  half-breeds,  em 
ployes  of  the  government,  and  went  as  far  as  St.  Pe 
ter's. 

Over  the  soil  which  Indians  had  sold  civilization 
had  made  rapid  strides.  From  Ireland,  Germany,  Nor 
way,  and  Sweden,  and  many  another  country  of  the 
Old  World,  and  from  every  part  of  the  New,  had  come 
a  quarter  of  a  million  of  people,  and  made  the  land 
their  home.  Through  the  once  quiet  waters  of  Lake 
Pepin,  past  the  tall  cliff  from  which  Winona  had  taken 
her  death-leap,  countless  steam-boats  puffed  their  way, 


THE   SCENE   AND   THE   ACTOKS.  27 

and  within  earshot  of  the  cave  where  Carver  heard 
the  Dakotas  moaning  and  weeping  for  their  depart 
ed,  the  locomotive  uttered  its  harsh  scream. 

At  St.  Anthony's  Falls,  over  which  the  canoe  of 
Scarlet  Dove  dashed  when  she  sung  her  last  song, 
and  to  which  the  trembling  Indian  brought 

"Belts  of  porcelain,  pipes,  and  rings, 
Tributes  to  be  hung  in  air 
To  the  fiend  presiding  there," 

prosperous  villages  had  sprung  up,  and  its  mad  wa 
ters  whirled  industry's  vast  machinery  in  obedience 
to  the  voice  of  man.  Far  and  wide,  where  the  buf 
falo  roamed,  herds  of  cattle  and  the  quiet  sheep-flock 
grazed,  and  the  plowman  turned  the  glebe.  The  scaf 
folding  on  which  the  Indian  placed  his  dead  passed 
away,  and  the  cemetery,  with  its  cross  and  whitened 
marbles,  took  its  place.  Almost  within  stone's-throw 
of  the  'reservation  was  the  prosperous  town  of  New 
Ulm,  and  emigrants  even  crowded  upon  the  land  in- 
vacated  by  the  treaty  of  1858.  Every  where  appear 
ed  those  works  by  which  the  great  Caucasian  mind 
asserts  itself  supreme.  Nor  did  the  whites  fear  the 
Indians.  It  is  true  that  Inkpaduta  and  eight  of  his 
band,  in  1858,  had  killed  some  forty  persons,  but  they 
were  outlaws  from  their  tribe,  their  acts  were  discoun 
tenanced  by  their  nation,  and  one  of  them  fell  by  the 
hand  of  Other  Day,  a  native  Dakota. 

The  weird  religion  of  the  savage,  his  mad  dances, 
his  antique  traditions,  his  strange  attire,  attracted  at 
tention  and  interest,  which  were  increased  by  the  cer 
tainty  of  his  not  very  distant  extinction,  and  the  fact 
that  he  would  never  be  forgotten  while  river,  and  lake, 
and  hill,  and  state,  and  county,  and  city,  and  town 


28  THE   SIOUX  WAR  AND   MASSACRE. 

should  owe  to  Ms  language  their  beautiful  and  har 
monious  names.  He  passed  unmolested  on  his  hunt 
ing  excursions  through  the  settlements,  and  was  en 
tertained  at  the  homes  of  the  whites,  and  bartered  witli 
them  the  game  which  he  killed.'  He  battled  with  the 
Chippeways  in  view  of  the  town  of  Shakopee,  and 
danced  his  scalp-dance,  and  swung  the  reeking  trophy 
of  his  victim  within  sound  of  the  steam  printing-press 
of  St.  Paul.  The  people  of  the  state,  and  even  stran 
gers  from  abroad,  crowded  unarmed  and  fearless  to 
the  agencies  when  the  payments  were  made,  although 
a  thousand  armed  warriors,  in  their  plumes  and  paint, 
were  present. 

How  many  prophecies  of  danger  there  were  the  fol 
lowing  chapter  shall  disclose. 


UNIVL. 


CAUSES  OF  THE  OUTBREAK.  31 


CHAPTER  II. 

CAUSES  OF  THE  OUTBREAK. 

THE  Indians  were  predisposed  to  hostility  toward 
the  whites.  They  regarded  them  with  that  repug 
nance  which  God  has  implanted  as  an  instinct  in  dif 
ferent  races  for  the  preservation  of  their  national  in 
tegrity,  and  to  prevent  the  subjection  of  the  inferior 
in  industry  and  intelligence  to  the  superior.  When 
they  first  caught  sight  of  Hennepin  they  saluted  him 
with  a  discharge  of  arrows. 

This  inborn  feeling  was  increased  by  the  enormous 
prices  charged  by  the  traders  for  goods,  by  their  de 
bauchery  of  their  women,  and  the  sale  of  liquors, 
which  were  attended  by  drunken  brawls  that  often  re 
sulted  fatally  to  the  participants.  Death  to  the  whites 
would  have  followed  years  ago  had  not  commercial 
dealings  with  them,  as  before  stated,  become  a  matter 
of  necessity. 

The  prohibition  by  our  government  of  their  san 
guinary  wars  upon  the  Chippeways  was  another 
source  of  grievance.  To  them  it  appeared  a  tyranni 
cal  act.  When  upbraided  during  last  summer  for 
evading  this  command,  they  answered  with  this  home 
thrust :  "  Our  Great  Father,  we  know,  has  always  told 
us  it  was  wrong  to  make  war,  yet  now  he  himself  is 
making  war  and  killing  a  great  many.  Will  you  ex 
plain  this  to  us  ?  we  don't  understand  it."  This  pro 
hibition  was  not  only  distasteful  on  account  of  its  im- 


32  THE   SIOUX  WAR  AND  MASSACRE. 

puted  unreasonableness  and  tyranny,  but  because  it 
also  closed  up  the  main  avenue  to  distinction. 

The  imagination  of  the  Indian  can  not  exercise  it 
self  in  painting,  sculpture,  and  literature,  or  in  any  of 
the  arts  or  sciences  which  gain  renown  in  civilized 
climes.  His  crown  comes  from  the  red  hand  of  war. 
As  their  agent  correctly  says,  "  The  young  Indian  from 
childhood  is  taught  to  regard  '  killing'  as  the  highest 
of  virtues.  In  the  dance  and  at  the  feasts,  the  warri 
ors  recite  their  deeds  of  theft,  pillage,  and  slaughter  as 
precious  things,  and,  indeed,  the  only  ambition  of  the 
young  Indian  is  to  secure  the  'feather?  which  is  but  the 
record  of  his  having  murdered,  or  participated  in  the 
murder  of  some  human  being — whether  man,  woman, 
or  child  is  immaterial ;  and  after  he  has  secured  his 
first  feather,  his  appetite  is  whetted  to  increase  the 
number  in  his  hair,  as  an  Indian  brave  is  estimated  by 
the  number  of  his  feathers.  Without  the  feather  the 
young  Indian  is  regarded  as  a  squaw,  and,  as  a  general 
rule,  can  not  get  a  wife,  and  is  despised,  derided,  and 
treated  with  contumely  by  all.  The  head-dress  filled 
with  these  feathers  and  other  insignia  of  blood  is  re 
garded  as  '  wakan1  (sacred),  and  no  unhallowed  hand 
of  man  nor  any  woman  dare  touch  it." 

If  you  enter  an  Indian  encampment  you  will  notice 
the  little  boys  engaged  in  shooting  arrows,  or  in  hurl 
ing  miniature  spears ;  and  over  the  platform  upon 
which  bleaches  the  bones  of  one  of  their  heroic  dead 
you  will  find  suspended  the  scalp  of  some  slaughtered 
foe.  Honorable  wounds  are  considered  a  sure  pass 
port  to  "  the  happy  hunting  grounds,2'  and  the  slaugh 
ter  of  an  enemy  by  a  friend  of  a  dead  warrior  is  re 
garded  as  a  powerful  propitiation  to  the  Deity  on  his 


CAUSES  OF  THE   OUTBREAK.  33 

behalf.  By  his  side,  in  his  last  resting-place,  are  laid 
the  weapons  of  the  fray,  and  friends  periodically  visit 
it  to  recite  his  gallant  deeds. 

The  hostility  arising  from  these  causes  was  but 
trivial  in  comparison  with  that  which  arose  out  of  the 
sale  of  their  lands  and  the  treaties  therewith  connected. 
The  cession  of  their  territory  is  necessarily  enforced 
upon  the  Indians  by  the  advance  of  the  white  race. 
Hunting  and  farming  can  not  exist  together,  and  the 
Indian  can  not  and  will  not  change  his  mode  of  life  in 
a  day,  if  ever.  The  whites  cut  down  the  trees ;  their 
steam-boats  frighten  the  beaver  and  the  wild-fowl, 
and  their  presence  drives  the  deer  and  the  buffalo  far 
to  the  west.  Were  the  treaties  fairly  obtained,-  and 
all  their  stipulations  fully  carried  out,  regrets-  for*  the 
homes  they  had  lost,  and  the  narrow  limits,1  soD'n  des 
titute  of  game,  into  which  they  are  crowded',  would 
soon  bring  repentance  of  their  bargain,  and  force  a 
bloody  termination  of  the  conflict  of  the  races.  But 
the  treaties  are  born  in  fraud,  and  all  their  stipulations 
for  the  future  are  curtailed  by  iniquity. 

The  traders,  knowing  for  years  before  that  the 
whites  will  purchase  the  lands,  sell  the  Indians*-goods 
on  credit,  expecting  to  realize  their  pay  fronrthe  con 
sideration  to  be  paid  by  the  government.  '  They  thus 
become  interested  instruments  to  obtain  the  consent 
of  the  Indians  to  the  treaty;  and  by  reason  df  their 
familiarity  with  their  language,  and  the  assistance  of 
half-breed  relatives,  are  possessed  of  great  facilities  to 
accomplish  their  object.  The  persons  deputed  by  the 
government  to  effect  a  treaty  are  compelled  to  pro 
cure  their  co-operation,  and  this  they  do  by  provid 
ing  that  their  debts  shall  be  paid.  The  traders  obtain 

B2 


34  THE  SIOUX  WAR  AND   MASSACRE. 

the  concurrence  of  the  Indians  by  refusing  to  give 
them  farther  credit,  and  by  representing  to  them  that 
they  will  receive  an  immense  amount  of  money  if 
they  sell  their  lands,  and  thenceforth  will  live  at  ease, 
with  plenty  to  eat  and  plenty  to  wear,  and  plenty  of 
powder  and  lead,  and  of  whatever  else  they  may  re 
quest.  After  the  treaty  is  agreed  to,  the  amount  of 
ready  money  is  absorbed  by  the  exorbitant  demands 
of  the  traders  and  the  expenses  of  the  removal  of  the 
Indians  to  their  reservation.  After  that,  the  trader 
no  longer  looks  to  the  Indian  for  his  pay ;  he  gets  it 
from  their  annuities.  He  therefore  does  not  use  the 
same  means  to  conciliate  their  good  will  that  he  did 
when  he  was  dependent  on  their  honesty.  Claims 
for  depredations  upon  white  settlers  are  also  deducted 
out  of  their  moneys  before  they  leave  Washington,  on 
insufficient  testimony ;  and  these  are  always,  when 
based  on  fact,  double  the  actual  loss,  for  the  Indian 
Department  is  notoriously  corrupt,  and  the  hand  ma 
nipulating  the  machinery  must  be  crossed  with  gold. 
The  ^expenses1"1  of  obtaining  a  claim  enter  into  the 
amount  demanded  and  allowed.  The  demand  is  not 
only  generally  unjust,  but,  instead  of  its  being  deduct 
ed  from  the  moneys  of  the  wrong-doer,  it  is  taken  from 
the  annuities  of  all.  This  course  punishes  the  inno 
cent  and  rewards  the  guilty,  because  the  property 
taken  by  the  depredator  is  of  more  value  than  the 
slight  percentage  he  loses. 

Many  of  the  stipulations  as  to  establishing  schools, 
and  furnishing  them  with  farming  utensils,  are  never 
carried  out.  Building  and  supply  contracts  are  en 
tered  into  at  outrageous  prices,  and  goods  belonging 
to  the  Indians  are  put  into  the  traders7  stores,  and  sold 


CAUSES  OF  THE   OUTBREAK.  35 

to  their  owners,  and  the  moneys  realized  shared  by 
the  trader  and  the  agent.  About  four  hundred  thou 
sand  dollars  of  the  cash  payment  due  the  Sioux  under 
the  treaties  of  1851  and  1852  were  paid  to  the  traders 
on  old  indebtedness.  So  intense  was  the  indignation 
of  the  Indians  that  there  was  serious  apprehension 
that  they  would  attack  the  government  officials  and 
traders.  The  opposition  of  Eed  Iron,  the  principal 
chief  of  the  Sissetons,  became  so  boisterous  that  he 
was  broken  of  his  chieftainship  by  Governor  Ramsey, 
the  Superintendent  of  Indian  Affairs,  and  one  of  the 
commissioners  who  made  the  treaties. 

An  eye-witness  has  sketched  the  appearance  of  the 
chief  on  that  occasion,  and  the  interview  between  him 
and  the  governor,  and  what  afterward  transpired.  It 
took  place  in  December,  1852.  The  council  was 
crowded  with  Indians  and  white  men  when  Red  Iron 
was  brought  in  guarded  by  soldiers.  He  was  about 
forty  years  old,  tall  and  athletic ;  about  six  feet  high 
in  his  moccasins,  with  a  large,  well-developed  head, 
aquiline  nose,  thin,  compressed  lips,  and  physiognomy 
beaming  with  intelligence  and  resolution.  He  was 
clad  in  the  half  military,  half  Indian  costume  of  the 
Dakota  chiefs.  He  was  seated  in  the  council-room 
without  greeting  or  salutation  from  any  one.  In  a 
few  minutes,  the  governor,  turning  to  the  chief  in  the 
midst  of  a  breathless  silence,  by  the  aid  of  an  inter 
preter  opened  the  council. 

Governor  Ramsey  asked,  "What  excuse  have  you 
for  not  coming  to  the  council  when  I  sent  for  you?" 

The  Dakota  chief  rose  to  his  feet  with  native  grace 
and  dignity,  his  blanket  falling  from  his  shoulders, 
and  purposely  dropping  the  pipe  of  peace,  he  stood 


36  THE  SIOUX  WAR  AND  MASSACRE. 

erect  before  the  governor  with  his  arms  folded  and 
right  hand  pressed  upon  the  sheath  of  his  scalping- 
knife.  With  the  utmost  coolness  and  prepossession, 
and  a  defiant  smile  playing  upon  his  thin  lips,  and  his 
eyes  sternly  fixed  upon  his  excellency,  with  firm  voice 
he  replied, 

"I  started  to  come,  but  your  braves  drove  me 
back." 

GOVERNOR.  "  What  excuse  have  you  for  not  com 
ing  the  second  time  I  sent  for  you  ?" 

BED  IRON.  "No  other  excuse  than  I  have  given 
you." 

GOVERNOR.  "At  the  treaty  I  thought  you  a  good 
man ;  but  since,  you  have  acted  badly,  and  I  am  dis 
posed  to  break  you — I  do  break  you." 

BED  IRON.  "You  break  me!  My  people  made  me 
a  chief.  My  people  love  me.  I  will  still  be  their 
chief.  I  have  done  nothing  wrong." 

GOVERNOR.  "Ked  Iron,  why  did  you  get  your 
braves  together,  and  march  around  here  for  the  pur 
pose  of  intimidating  other  chiefs,  and  prevent  their 
coming  to  the  council  ?" 

EED  IRON.  "I  did  not  get  my  braves  together; 
they  got  together  themselves  to  prevent  boys  going  to 
council  to  be  made  chiefs  to  sign  papers,  and  to  pre 
vent  single  chiefs  going  to  council  at  night  to  be 
bribed  to  sign  papers  for  money  we  have  never  got. 
We  have  heard  how  the  M'dewakantons  were  served 
at  Mendota  —  that  by  secret  councils  you  got  their 
names  on  paper  and  took  away  their  money.  We 
don't  want  to  be  served  so.  My  braves  wanted  to 
come  to  council  in  the  daytime,  when  the  sun  shines, 
and  we  want  no  councils  in  the  dark.  We  want  all 


CAUSES  OF  THE   OUTBREAK.  37 

our  people  to  go  to  council  together,  so  that  we  can 
all  know  what  is  done." 

GOVERNOR,  "Why  did  you  attempt  to  come  to 
council  with  your  braves  when  I  had  forbidden  your 
braves  coming  to  council  ?" 

EED  IRON.  "  You  invited  the  chiefs  only,  and  would 
not  let  the  braves  come  too.  This  is  not  the  way  we 
have  been  treated  before ;  this  is  not  according  to  our 
customs,  for,  among  Dakotas,  chiefs  and  braves  go  to 
council  together.  When  you  first  sent  for  us  there 
were  two  or  three  chiefs  here,  and  we  wanted  to  wait 
till  the  rest  would  come,  that  we  might  all  be  in  coun 
cil  together,  and  know  what  was  done,  and  so  that  we 
might  all  understand  the  papers,  and  know  what  we 
were  signing.  When  we  signed  the  treaty  the  traders 
threw  a  blanket  over  our  faces,  and  darkened  our  eyes, 
and  made  us  sign  papers  which  we  did  not  understand, 
and  which  were  not  explained  or  read  to  us.  We 
want  our  Great  Father  at  Washington  to  know  what 
has  been  done." 

GOVERNOR.  "Your  Great  Father  has  sent  me  to 
represent  him,  and  what  I  say  is  what  he  says.  lie 
wants  you  to  pay  your  old  debts  in  accordance  with 
the  paper  you  signed  when  the  treaty  was  made,  and 
to  leave  that  money  in  my  hands  to  pay  these  debts. 
If  you  refuse  to  do  that  I  will  take  the  money  back." 

EED  IRON.  "  You  can  take  the  money  back.  We 
sold  our  land  to  you,  and  you  promised  to  pay  us.  If 
you  don't  give  us  the  money  I  will  be  glad,  and  all 
our  people  will  be  glad,  for  we  will  have  our  land 
back  if  you  don't  give  us  the  money.  That  paper 
was  not  interpreted  or  explained  to  us.  We  are  told 
it  gives  about  300  ($300,000)  boxes  of  our  money  to 


38  THE   SIOUX  WAR  AND   MASSACRE. 

some  of  the  traders.  We  don't  think  we  owe  them 
so  much.  We  want  to  pay  all  our  debts.  We  want 
our  Great  Father  to  send  three  good  men  here  to  tell 
us  how  much  we  do  owe,  and  whatever  they  say  we 
will  pay,  and  (pointing  to  the  Indians)  that's  what  all 
these  braves  say.  Our  chiefs  and  all  our  people  say 
this."  All  the  Indians  present  responded  "  Ho,  ho." 

GOVERNOR.  "  That  can't  be  done.  You  owe  more 
than  your  money  will  pay,  and  I  am  ready  now  to  pay 
your  annuity  and  no  more,  and  when  you  are  ready 
to  receive  it  the  agent  will  pay  you." 

BED  IRON.  "  We  will  receive  our  annuity,  but  we 
will  sign  no  papers  for  any  thing  else.  The  snow  is 
on  the  ground,  and  we  have  been  waiting  a  long  time 
to  get  our  money.  We  are  poor;  you  have  plenty. 
Your  fires  are  warm ;  your  tepees  keep  out  the  cold. 
We  have  nothing  to  eat.  We  have  been  waiting  a 
long  time  for  our  moneys.  Our  hunting  season  is 
past.  A  great  many  of  our  people  are  sick  for  being 
hungry.  We  may  die  because  you  won't  pay  us.  We 
may  die,  but  if  we  do,  we  will  leave  our  bones  on  the 
ground,  that  our  Great  Father  may  see  where  his  Da 
kota  children  died.  We  are  very  poor.  We  have 
sold  our  hunting-grounds  and  the  graves  of  our  fa 
thers.  We  have  sold  our  own  graves.  We  have  no 
place  to  bury  our  dead,  and  you  will  not  pay  us  the 
money  for  our  lands." 

The  council  was  broken  up,  and  Eed  Iron  was  sent 
to  the  guard-house,  where  he  was  kept  till  next  day. 
Between  thirty  and  forty  of  the  braves  of  Eed  Iron's 
band  were  present  during  this  arrangement  before  the 
governor.  When  he  was  led  away  they  departed  in 
sullen  silence,  headed  by  Lean  Bear,  to  a  spot  a  quar- 


CAUSES   OF  THE   OUTBREAK.  39 

ter  of  a  mile  from  the  council-house,  when  they  utter 
ed  a  succession  of  yells,  the  gathering  signal  of  the 
Dakota.  Ere  the  echoes  died  away,  Indians  were  hur 
rying  from  their  tepees  toward  them  prepared  for  bat 
tle.  They  proceeded  to  an  eminence  near  the  camp 
where  mouldered  the  bones  of  many  warriors.  It  was 
the  memorable  battle-ground  where  their  ancestors 
had  fought,  in  a  Waterloo  conflict,  the  warlike  Sacs 
and  Foxes,  thereby  preserving  their  lands  and  nation 
ality. 

Upon  this  field  stood  two  hundred  resolute  warriors 
ready  to  do  battle  for  their  hereditary  chief.  Lean 
Bear,  the  principal  brave  of  Ked  Iron's  band,  was 
a  large,  resolute  man,  about  thirty -five  years  of  age, 
and  had  great  influence  in  his  nation.  The  Dakotas 
gathered  close  to  hear  what  he  had  to  communicate. 
Throwing  his  blanket  from  his  shoulders,  he  grasped 
his  scalping-knife,  and,  brandishing  it  in  his  right  hand, 
he  recounted  to  his  comrades  the  warlike  deeds  of 
their  imprisoned  chief,  Eed  Iron  (Maza-sha),  to  which 
they  all  responded  "  Ho,  ho"  many  times,  and  in  their 
most  earnest  tones.  He  then  addressed  them  in  a  war- 
talk  as  follows : 

"  Dakotas,  the  big  men  are  here ;  they  have  got 
Maza-sha  in  a  pen  like  a  wolf.  They  mean  to  kill  him 
for  not  letting  the  big  men  cheat  us  out  of  our  lands 
and  the  money  our  Great  Father  sent  us." 

"Ho,  ho"  frequently  repeated  the  auditors.  The 
orator  continued : 

"  Dakotas,  must  we  starve  like  buffaloes  in  the 
snow?  Shall  we  let  our  blood  freeze  like  the  little 
streams?  Or  shall  we  make  the  snow  red  with  the 
blood  of  the  white  braves?" 


40  THE   SIOUX  WAR  AND   MASSACRE. 

"  Ho,  ho,"  repeated  by  almost  every  voice  with  sav 
age  ferocity,  and  the  war-whoop  was  yelled  by  the 
whole  band. 

"Dakotas,  the  blood  of  your  fathers  talk  to  you 
from  the  graves  where,  we  stand.  Their  spirits  come 
up  into  your  arms  and  make  you  strong.  I  am  glad 
of  it.  To-night  the  blood  of  the  white  man  shall  run 
like  water  in  the  rain,  and  Maza-sha  shall  be  with  his 
people.  ['  Ho,  ho.'] 

"Dakotas,  when  the  moon  goes  down  behind  the 
hills,  be  ready  ['  Ho'],  and  I  will  lead  you  against  the 
Long  Knives  and  the  big  men  who  have  come  to  cheat 
us,  and  take  away  our  lands,  and  put  us  in  a  pen  for 
not  helping  them  to  rob  our  women  and  children. 

"Dakotas, be  not  afraid;  we  have  manv  more  braves 
than  the  whites.  When  the  moon  goes  down,  be  ready, 
and  I  will  lead  you  to  their  tepees."  ["  Ho,  ho."] 

The  above  talk  was  obtained  from  an  educated  half- 
breed,  who  was  present  during  the  scene  described. 

By  the  influence  of  the  half-breeds  and  white  men 
opposed  to  the  payment,  Lean  Bear  was  induced  to 
abandon  his  meditated  attack.  Other  Indians  were 
also  deprived  of  their  chieftainship.  It  was  doubtful 
for  a  long  time  whether  they  would  receive  annuities 
and  abandon  the  lands:  and  this  was  accomplished 
only  through  their  distress,  for  many  had  come  hund 
reds  of  miles,  and  were  starving  in  the  dead  of  winter; 
by  the  release  of  those  imprisoned  for  making  war 
upon  the  Chippeways;  and  by  means  of  large  pres 
ents,  and  the  creation  of  chiefs  to  act  in  the  place  of 
those  who  had  been  deposed. 

Even  the  chiefs  did  not  reap  the  benefits  they  ex 
pected.  $2900  were  paid  to  the  chiefs  of  the  Lower 


CAUSES   OF   THE   OUTBREAK.  41 

Indians,  and  placed  before  them  on  a  table ;  and  in 
two  instances  at  least,  those  of  Wabashaw  and  Wah- 
koo-ta,  it  was  picked  up  from  the  table  by  a  half- 
breed  and  given  to  a  white  man,  and  that  was  the  last 
they  ever  saw  of  it.  Little  Crow  afterward  testified, 
on  the  investigation  of  the  charges  against  Governor 
Ramsey  in  reference  to  the  treaties,*  that  one  of  the 
traders  promised  that  if  he  would  sign  a  receipt  for 
the  moneys  that  were  paid  the  traders  he  should  have 
seventy  horses,  and  double-barreled  guns  and  pistols 
for  many  of  his  band,  but  that  he  never  received 
them. 

Over  §55,000  of  the  moneys  paid  under  this  treaty 
for  debts  of  the  Indians  went  to  one  Hugh  Tyler,  a 
stranger  in  the  country,  for  getting  the  treaties  through 
the  Senate,  and  for  "  necessary  disbursements"  in  secur 
ing  the  assent  of  the  chiefs. 

In  1857,  a  trader,  pretending  that  he  was  getting 
them  to  sign  a  power  of  attorney  to  get  back  the  mon 
ey  which  had  gone  to  the  traders  under  the  treaty  of 
1851  and  1852,  obtained  their  signatures  to  vouchers, 
by  which  he  swindled  them  out  of  $12,000.  Shortly 
afterward,  this  trader  secured  the  payment  of  $4500 
for  goods  which  he  claimed  (falsely,  it  is  said)  to  have 
been  stolen.  About  the  same  time,  a  man  in  Sioux 
City  was  allowed  a  claim  of  $5000  for  horses  which 
he  also  alleged  to  have  been  stolen. 

In  1858  the  chiefs  were  taken  to  Washington,  and 
agreed  to  the  treaties  before  referred  to  for  the  ces 
sion  of  all  their  reservation  north  of  the  Minnesota 

*  The  Senate  decided  unanimously  that,  whatever  might  have  been 
done  by  traders  and  others,  Governor  Ramsey's  conduct  was  not  only 
free  from  blame,  but  highly  commendable. 


42  THE   SIOUX  WAR  AND  MASSACRE. 

Kiver,  under  which,  as  ratified  by  the  Senate,  they 
were  to  have  $166,000 ;  but  of  this  amount  they  nev 
er  received  a  penny  until  four  years  afterward,  when 
$15,000  in  goods  were  sent  to  the  Lower  Sioux,  and 
these  were  deducted  out  of  what  was  due  them  under 
former  treaties. 

The  Indians,  discovering  the  fraud,  refused  to  re 
ceive  them  for  several  weeks,  and  only  consented  to 
take  them  after  the  government  had  agreed  to  rectify 
the  matter.  Most  of  the  large  amount  due  under 
these  treaties  went  into  the  pockets  of  traders,  govern 
ment  officials,  and  other  swindlers. 

The  Indians  were  grievously  disappointed  with 
their  bargains,  and  from  that  time  the  control  of  af 
fairs  passed  from  the  chiefs,  who  it  was  believed  had 
been  bribed,  to  the  young  men.  They  had  now  near 
ly  disposed  of  all  their  land,  and  received  scarcely  any 
thing  for  it.  They  were  6200  in  number,  and  their 
annuities,  when  paid  in  full,  were  hardly  fifteen  dol 
lars  apiece. 

Their  sufferings  from  hunger  were  often  severe,  es 
pecially  during  the  winter  and  spring  previous  to  the 
massacre.  This  was  owing  to  the  lightness  of  the 
crops,  for  the  cut- worms  destroyed  all  the  corn  of  the 
Sissetons,  and  greatly  injured  that  of  the  other  tribes; 
and  also  to  an  unprecedented  fall  of  snow  late  in  the 
season,  which  delayed  the  spring  hunts.  The  Sisse 
tons  of  Lac  Traverse  subsisted  only  by  eating  all  their 
horses  and  dogs,  and  at  least  1500  of  the  old  men, 
women,  and  children  had  to  be  supported  at  an  extra 
expense  to  the  government,  and  this  was  so  very  par 
simoniously  done  that  some  died  from  starvation. 

Then  the  wild  Indians  were  very  much  incensed  at 


CAUSES  OF  THE   OUTBREAK.  43 

the  abandonment  by  the  Farmer  Indians  of  their  an 
cient  customs,  their  assumption  of  the  white  dress,  and 
adhesion  to  the  Christian  religion.  They  styled  them 
opprobriously  "  whitewashed  Indians"  and  "  Dutch 
men,"  whom  they  designated  as  "ea  seicha"  (the  bad 
language).  These  "Farmer"  Indians  did  very  little 
work,  had  their  lands  plowed  for  them  by  the  whites, 
and  were  much  better  supplied  with  food  and  clothing 
than  the  others,  and  the  extra  expense  was  deducted 
out  of  the  common  fund.  This  the  latter  thought 
very  unjust,  especially  as  they  engaged  themselves  in 
hunting,  and  did  much  more  than  the  others  toward 
earning  their  living.  Every  favor  that  was  granted 
the  "Farmers"  they  looked  upon  with  jealous  eyes,  and 
accused  the  agent  and  the  missionaries  with  gross  in 
justice  in  making  any  distinction  between  them.  This 
feeling  was  fanned  by  the  medicine  or  wakan  (super 
natural)  men.  These  combine  in  their  individual  per 
sons  the  offices  of  priest,  prophet,  and  physician.* 
They  are  invested  with  power  to  do  good  and  evil. 
They  can  inflict  diseases  and  heal  them,  and  discover 
things  which  are  hid  from  the  eyes  of  others.  They 
can  tell  the  locality  of  enemies,  and  predict  the  result 
of  battles.  From  the  medicine-man  the  warrior  re 
ceives  the  spear  and  tomahawk,  carefully  constructed 
after  the  model  furnished  from  the  armory  of  the 
gods,  pointed  after  divine  prescription,  and  charged 
with  spirit  and  power ;  and  by  the  medicine-men  in  a 
particular  way  must  he  be  painted,  so  as  to  protect  his 
body  from  wounds,  and  make  him  terrible  to  his  foes. 
As  a  doctor,  the  medicine-man  cures  diseases  by  music 
or  horrid  chants,  or  by  sucking  them  from  the  body, 

*  Rev.  Mr.  Pond. 


44  THE   SIOUX  WAR  AND  MASSACRE. 

and  squirting  them  into  a  bowl  of  water  to  prevent 
their  return.  Their  opposition  to  a  system  which  was 
death  to  their  profession  was  strenuous ;  and  as  their 
power  over  Indians  was  almost  unlimited,  the  discon 
tent  which  they  fomented  was  great. 

The  dissatisfaction  thus  engendered  was  fearfully 
augmented  by  the  failure  of  the  government  to  make 
the  annual  payment,  which  had  before  taken  place  in 
June,  and  by  the  traders  refusing  them  credit  at  a 
time  when  they  needed  it  the  most.  They  were  in 
formed  by  the  traders,  as  a  reason  for  their  not  trust 
ing  them,  that  it  was  doubtful,  on  account  of  the  diffi 
culties  the  government  had  to  encounter  to  sustain  it 
self,  whether  they  would  receive  more  than  a  half  pay 
ment  during  that  year,  and  that  that  would  probably 
be  the  last. 

Just  before  the  massacre  £ook  place  we  had  met 
with  great  reverses  in  Virginia,  and  half-breeds  and 
others  who  could  read*  kept  telling  them  all  kinds  of 
exaggerated  stories  about  the  war:  some  that  the 
"niggers"  had  taken,  or  were  about  to  take  Washing 
ton  ;  that  the  Great  Father  and  the  agent  were  friends 
to  these  "niggers;"  that  the  Father  was  "whipped 
out;"  that  the  Indians  would  get  no  more  money; 
that  the  "  niggers"  would  take  it,  or  that  it  would  be 
used  up  for  the  war. 

They  were  fully  aware  of  the  magnitude  of  the  con 
test.  Little  Crow  often  said  to  the  agent,  "  When  I 
arose  this  morning,  and  looked  toward  the  south,  it 
seemed  to  me  that  I  could  see  the  smoke  of  the  big  gun, 
and  hear  the  war-whoop  of  the  contending  braves." 
The  Indians  who  hunted  toward  the  Big  Woods,  and 

*  Agent  Galbraith's  Report. 


CAUSES   OF   THE   OUTBREAK.  45 

those  who  attended  the  payment  from  Faribault,  said, 
as  they  passed  along,  they  saw  nothing  but  old  men, 
women,  and  children,  and  that  all  that  were  fit  to  be 
soldiers  had  gone  to  the  wars.  This,  together  with 
the  enlistment  of  half-breeds  and  employes  of  the  gov 
ernment  upon  the  reservation,  strengthened  the  idea 
that  the  country  had  nearly  exhausted  its  fighting  ma 
terial,  and  was  going  to  ruin,  and  they  would  receive 
nothing  more. 

The  Indians,  having  no  diversion  during  the  even 
ing,  naturally  gather  together  around  their  fires  and 
discuss  subjects  of  interest,  and  among  these  subjects 
the  action  of  the  government  and  of  the  traders  are 
freely  canvassed,  and  the  effect  was  to  amplify  that 
which  was  already  bad  enough.  "With  the  conviction 
of  the  weakness  of  the  whites,  the  possibilities  of  a 
successful  onslaught  upon  them  were  frequently  dis 
cussed. 

These  tribes  were  well  armed  with  double-barreled 
shot-guns,  and  could  get  plenty  of  powder  and  lead, 
and  could  call  into  the  field  1300  warriors.  The  Yank- 
tons,  the  Yanktonais,  and  the  Tetawn  Sioux,  who  would 
naturally  sympathize  with  them  on  account  of  their 
relationship,  and  some  of  whom  had  recently  been  at 
war  with  the  whites,  could  muster  4000  more. 

The  "Winnebagoes,  their  near  neighbors,  were  their 
frequent  visitors,  and  most  potent  in  mischief-making, 
and  they  promised  their  assistance  in  case  a  difficulty 
arose.  The  Chippeways  were  as  dissatisfied  as  the 
Sioux  from  similar  causes.  Mysterious  messages  pass 
ed  from  tribe  to  tribe  of  that  nation  during  the  sum 
mer,  and  it  was  asserted  that  Little  Crow  correspond 
ed  with  their  great  chief,  Hole-in-the-day,  in  regard  to 


46  THE   SIOUX  WAR  AND   MASSACRE. 

their  mutual  grievances.  These  could  furnish  4000 
men,  and,  with  such  a  force,  it  was  believed  they  could 
regain  their  ancient  possessions,  if  they  made  the  at 
tempt. 

Hopes  of  assistance  from  the  English  were  also  en 
tertained.  They  recollected  that  they  had  in  former 
days  been  their  allies  and  anxious  for  their  trade,  and 
that  they  hated  the  Americans,  and  that,  on  account 
of  the  Trent  affair,  a  war  would  probably  take  place. 
Medals  and  flags  presented  by  the  British  were  still  in 
existence  among  them,  and  some  of  the  old  men  said 
that  during  the  war  of  1812  they  had  taken  a  cannon 
from  one  of  oar  posts  and  presented  it  to  the  English ; 
that  they  called  it  the  "Little  Dakota,"  and  promised, 
if  the  Sioux  were  ever  in  trouble  and  wanted  help, 
they  would  bring  this  cannon  to  them,  with  men  to 
work  it. 

They  despised  our  people,  and  believed  they  could 
not  successfully  contend  with  Indians,  and  instanced 
the  Black  Hawk  War,  on  which  occasion,  they  said, 
to  be  successful,  we  were  compelled  to  ask  their  as 
sistance. 

The  escape  of  Inkpaduta,  with  the  loss  of  only  one 
of  his  own  men,  who  foolishly  returned  to  Yellow 
Medicine,  increased  this  feeling,  and  they  boasted  that 
it  was  not  a  white  man,  but  an  Indian,  who  killed  this 
one.  Little  Crow  openly  said  that  if  troubles  should 
arise,  Minnesota  would  be  compelled  to  call  on  her  sis 
ter  states  for  assistance. 

In  June  a  number  of  chiefs  and  head  men  of  the 
Sissetons  and  Wahpetons  visited  the  Upper  Agency, 
and  inquired  about  the  payment,  whether  they  were 
going  to  get  any  money,  saying  that  they  had  been 


CAUSES  OF  THE   OUTBKEAK.  47 

told  that  they  would  not.  When  the  agent  informed 
them  that  it  would  take  place,  although  he  could  not 
say  when,  or  whether  it  would  be  a  full  payment,  and 
that  he  would  send  them  word  when  the  money  ar 
rived,  they  returned  to  their  homes ;  but  on  the  14th 
of  July  all  came  down  again,  to  the  number  of  5000, 
and  camped.  They  said  they  were  afraid  they  would 
not  get  their  money,  and  that  they  had  been  again  told 
so  by  the  whites.  Here  they  remained  for  some  time, 
all  pinched  for  food,  and  several  dying  from  starva 
tion.  They  dug  up  roots  to  appease  their  hunger,  and 
when  corn  was  turned  out  to  them,  like  animals,  they 
devoured  it  uncooked. 

With  these  Indians  came  a  number  of  families  of 
the  Yanktonais,  living  near  Big  Stone  Lake.  This 
tribe  claimed,  and  rightfully,  an  interest  in  the  lands 
which  the  annuity  Indians  had  solc^,  but  none  of  them 
ever  received  any  pay  except  those  belonging  to  the 
Wanata's  band,  and  this  was  unauthorized.  Wanata 
was  half  Sisseton  and  Yanktonais,  and  his  band  was 
composed  of  Indians  from  both  tribes.  These  Yankto 
nais  were  told  that  they  should  receive  nothing  in  the 
future.  When  they  became  satisfied  of  this,  they  per 
suaded  the  other  Indians,  on  the  4th  of  August,  to 
break  into  the  government  warehouse,  and  take  away 
the  provisions  there.  This  was  done  in  the  most  bois 
terous  manner,  in  the  presence  of  one  hundred  soldiers 
with  two  twelve-pounder  howitzers.  The  American 
flag  was  cut  down,  and  the  Indians  stood  around  with 
their  guns  loaded,  cocked,  and  leveled.  Finally  a  coun 
cil  was  held  with  them,  and  by  the  issuance  of  a  large 
quantity  of  provisions  they  were  induced  to  return  to 
their  homes. 


48  THE  SIOUX  WAR  AND   MASSACRE. 

On  the  Lower  Eeservation  the  excitement  was  like 
wise  intense  for  a  month  before  the  outbreak.  From 
longer  intercourse  with  the  whites  they  were  more 
corrupt  and  disposed  to  mischief  than  the  others,  and 
more  idle,  because  they  had  not,  like  them,  buffalo  to 
hunt. 

About  the  first  of  July  they  formed  the  "  Soldiers' 
Lodge."  This  is  a  secret  organization  of  the  young- 
men  to  direct  the  action  of  the  tribe  when  any  thing 
of  moment  is  to  be  undertaken.  In  this  it  was  de 
termined  that  they  would  get  all  the  credit  possible, 
and  when  their  annuities  arrived,  not  permit  the  trad 
ers  to  receive  them ;  and  if  they  insisted,  rob  the 
stores,  drive  their  owners  from  the  reservation,  or  take 
their  lives,  as  might  seem  expedient.  The  chiefs  did 
not  dare  express  dissent  to  this  plan,  for  they  were  ac 
cused  by  the  young  Indians  with  bribery  to  the  inter 
ests  of  the  whites.  The  old  chief  Wabashaw  even 
went  so  far  as  to  say  in  council  that  he  should  not 
oppose  this  action,  as  the  traders  and  government  had 
cheated  them  long  enough,  and  as  the  whites  twenty 
years  before  had  killed  four  of  his  relatives,  and  pitch 
ed  them  over  the  bluff  near  St.  Paul. 

The  traders  knew  from  the  organization  of  the 
lodge  that  it  boded  no  good  for  a  collection  of  their 
demands,  and  when  an  Indian  would  ask  for  credit 
they  would  retort,  "  Go  to  the  Soldiers'  Lodge  and  get 
credit,"  and  the  Indian  would  angrily  reply,  "  Yes,  if 
I  was  your  kept  squaw  I  could  get  all  the  credit  I 
wanted ;  but  as  I  am  a  man,  I  can  not." 

They  supposed  that  three  certain  Indians  had  dis 
closed  the  secrets  of  the  lodge  to  the  traders.  They 
started  after  one  who  was  riding  on  horseback;  he 


CAUSES   OF   THE   OUTBREAK.  49 

jumped  off  and  ran  into  the  woods.  Then  those  who 
had  guns  shot  a  hundred  balls  into  the  horse,  and  the 
others  stabbed  him  with  their  knives.  The  other  two 
they  caught  in  the  street,  and  cut  every  piece  of 
clothes  from  their  backs  before  all  the  people. 

On  another  occasion  they  appeared  in  large  num 
bers  before  Myrick's  store,  and  one  made  a  speech, 
saying,  "  You  have  told  us  that  you  will  give  us  no 
more  credit,  and  that  we  might  starve  this  winter,  or 
eat  hay  or  dirt.  Now,  since  you  will  not  give  us  cred 
it,  when  you  want  wood  or  water  don't  get  it  on  our 
reservation."  To  this  Myrick  replied,  "  Ho !  all  right! 
When  you  are  cold  this  winter,  and  want  to  warm 
yourselves  by  my  stove,  I  will  put  you  out  of  doors." 
Then  they  made  the  same  speech  to  the  other  traders, 
and  received  about  the  same  reply. 

Some  of  the  more  violent  were  ready  for  a  general 
war.  Jack  Frazier,  the  celebrated  friendly  half-breed, 
heard  one  of  them  say,  months  before,  that  blood 
would  be  shed  at  the  payment ;  and  Indian  members 
of  Mr.  Hindman's  church  at  the  agency  told  him  fre 
quently  that  the  Sioux  were  "  wo-hi-ti-ka,"  i.  e.,  furi 
ous  for  a  fight.  Other  half-breeds  said  that  if  war 
took  place  with  England,  which  was  then  imminent 
on  account  of  the  Trent  affair,  there  would  be  a  war 
along  the  whole  frontier. 

Shortly  after  the  organization  of  the  Soldiers'  Lodge, 
150  of  its  members  took  an  interpreter  living  off  of 
the  reservation,  and  who  was  not  in  the  interest  of  the 
traders,  and  went  to  Fort  Eidgely,  where  they  coun- 
ciled  with  Captain  Marsh,  the  commander  of  the  post. 
They  asked  him,  if  they  refused  to  pay  their  traders 
at  payment,  if  he  would  assist  the  traders,  and  he  as- 

C 


50  THE   SIOUX  WAK  AND   MASSACRE. 

sured  them  that  he  would  not.  It  was  usual  to  have 
a  company  of  soldiers  at  payment,  and  they  endeav 
ored  to  dissuade  Marsh  from  sending  any,  as  they  said 
they  had  their  own  soldiers,  who  would  see  that  every 
thing  was  conducted  orderly.  They  visited  him  sev 
eral  times  afterward  on  a  like  errand. 

The  night  before  the  outbreak  a  large  council  was 
held  at  Kice  Creek,  fifteen  miles  above  the  agency,  at 
which  a  number  of  Winnebagoes  were  present ;  and 
here  it  was  determined  that  on  the  next  day  they 
would  go  down  to  the  Lower  Agency,  camp  there  that 
night,  then  go  to  Fort  Kidgely,  and  to  St.  Paul  if  nec 
essary,  to  urge  the  making  of  the  payment,  and  if 
they  did  not  succeed  more  violent  measures  should 
be  adopted. 

Thus,  on  the  17th  day  of  August,  1862,  we  find  the 
instinctive  hatred  of  this  savage  and  ferocious  people, 
who  are  able  to  bring  into  the  field  1300  well-armed 
warriors,  the  most  expert  and  daring  skirmishers  in 
the  world,  fanned  to  a  burning  heat  by  many  years  of 
actual  and  of  fancied  wrong,  and  intensified  by  fears 
of  hunger  and  of  cold.  We  find  this  feeling  belliger 
ent,  and  manifesting  itself  in  acts  through  the  possi 
bilities  of  success.  We  see  the  authority  of  the  chiefs 
and  older  men  set  aside,  and  the  energetic  and  turbu 
lent  spirit  of  youth  assuming  the  direction  of  affairs. 
We  see  violence  determined  upon  if  a  certain  contin 
gency  should  happen,  and  the  more  violent  declaring 
for  a  general  war.  We  find  on  the  reservation  the 
stores  of  the  hated  traders  filled  with  goods  which 
they  have  long  sought  to  obtain,  and  within  easy  ac 
cess  the  unarmed  people  upon  whom  rage  and  mania 
for  the  "feather"  may  wreak  itself  in  slaughter. 


CAUSES  OF  THE   OUTBREAK.  51 

"What  happens  among  a  civilized  people  when  one 
class  oppresses  another  of  the  same  color  and  nation  ? 
Why,  the  archangel  of  revolution  unsheathes  his  flam 
ing  sword.  What  shall  happen  now  when  the  wrong 
ed  are  fiendish  and  cruel  by  nature,  and  the  hated  ones 
are  of  another  race  and  within  their  power?  What 
shall  happen  when,  besides,  despair  stares  them  in  the 
face,  and  the  gaunt  wolf  starvation  waits  for  them  with 
open  jaws?  The  agent,  who  left  the  reservation  with 
many  of  its  young  men  two  days  before,  heard  not  the 
question,  though  philosophy  uttered  it  in  thunder  tones 
"with  most  miraculous  organ."  Much  less  did  the 
peaceful  people,  who  were  quietly  pursuing  their  toils, 
and  gathering  into  their  garners  for  the  coming  win 
ter  the  summer's  bounteous  harvest. 

All  seemed  alike  to  be  ignorant  of  the  existence  of 
the  magazine  whose  explosion  awaited  but  the  spark 
— ignorant  of  the  dark  and  lowering  storm  which 
threatened  to  burst  with  malign  fury  over  their  happy 
homes. 


52  THE   SIOUX   WAR  AND   MASSACRE. 


CHAPTER  III. 

A    SPARK    OF    FIRE. 

ON  the  10th  of  August,  a  party  of  twenty  Indians 
from  the  Lower  Reservation  went  to  the  Big  Woods,* 
near  Forest  City,  for  the  purpose  of  hunting  deer  and 
obtaining  a  wagon  which  the  chief  Mak-pe-yah-we- 
tah,  one  of  their  number,  had  left  the  previous  autumn 
with  Captain  Whitcomb  as  security  for  the  purchase- 
money  of  a  sleigh.  This  chief,  and.  four  others  of  the 
party,  separated  from  their  companions  and  went  to 
Whitcomb's.  The  remaining  fifteen  lingered  in  the 
neighborhood  of  Acton.  Four  of  these  were  Upper 
Indians  by  birth,  but  had  intermarried  with  the  M'de- 
wakantons,  and  were  living  with  Shakopee's  band  at 
the  mouth  of  Rice  Creek.  This  band  was  the  worst 
disposed  upon  the  reservation,  and  the  most  violent  in 
its  complaints  against  the  whites.  The  others  resided 
around  the  Lower  Agency. 

On  Sunday,  the  17th  of  August,  when  within  about 
six  miles  of  Acton,  one  of  the  latter  picked  up  some 
hen's  eggs  on  the  prairie,  and  proposed  to  eat  them. 
"  No,"  said  one  of  the  four,  "  they  are  the  eggs  of  a 
tame  fowl ;  they  are  the  property  of  a  white  man. 
You  must  not  touch  them."  "Nonsense,"  replied 

*  A  large  and  remarkable  forest,  commencing  about  eighty  miles 
above  the  Falls  of  St.  Anthony,  and  extending  south  at  a  right  angle 
across  the  Minnesota  River  to  the  branches  of  the  Mankato,  or  Blue 
Earth  River. 


A  SPARK  OF  FIRE.  53 

the  first  speaker ;  "  they  are  worth  nothing,  and  we 
are  hungry,  and  might  as  well  eat  them."  "  No,"  still 
insisted  the  other ;  "  they  are  not  ours.  It  is  wrong 
to  take  them,  and  we  will  get  into  trouble  with  the 
whites  if  we  do  so."  "  Oh!"  angrily  retorted  the  first, 
"you  are  putting  on  very  virtuous  airs.  You  Kice 
Creek  Indians  talk  a  great  deal  against  the  whites, 
and  yet  you  dare  not  take  a  few  paltry  eggs.  I  am 
not  afraid  of  the  miserable  fools."  *•  Don't  abuse  the 
white  man,"  said  the  other;  "he  is  absent.  Abuse 
me.  I  am  here,  and  am  not  frightened  at  your  loud 
talk."  "To  the  devil  with  you  and  the  eggs,"  ex 
claimed  the  first,  and  he  dashed  them  to  the  ground. 
"  That's  a  very  bold  act,"  said  the  other,  sneeringly, 
"  to  destroy  a  few  hen's  eggs !  You  are  a  coward." 

The  dispute  waxed  hotter  and  hotter  as  they  pro 
ceeded  on  their  way.  Presently  they  saw  an  ox,  and 
the  one  who  had  broken  the  eggs  cried  out,  "  I  am  a 
coward,  am  I  ?  I  am  so  brave,  and  so  little  afraid  of 
the  whites  as  to  dare  to  kill  one  of  their  oxen.  There !" 
and  he  drew  up  his  gun  and  shot  the  ox.  "  You  call 
that  brave  too,  do  you  ?"  said  his  former  disputant ; 
"I  call  it  the  act  of  a  coward.  You  break  eggs  and 
kill  an  ox.  You  are  a  woman.  I  am  a  brave  man, 
and  know  what  is  brave.  I  have  been  on  war  parties 
against  Chippeways,  and  have  taken  scalps." 

And  so  the  quarrel  progressed  in  bitterness,  and  the 
whole  party  became  embroiled  in  it,  the  four  Kice 
Creek  Indians  being  arrayed  in  opposition  to  the  oth 
ers,  and  each  side  accusing  the  other  of  cowardice. 
The  difficulty  bid  fair  to  result  in  blows,  when  the 
larger  number  said,  "Since  we  can't  agree  we  will 
take  different  trails,  and  you  will  find  out  whether  we 


54  THE  SIOUX  WAR  AND   MASSACRE. 

are  brave  or  not,  for  we  are  going  to  kill  a  white  man." 
And  so  they  left  the  four  to  themselves. 

Some  little  time  afterward  the  four  heard  the  others 
firing  off  their  guns,  and  erroneously  supposed  they 
were  killing  whites,  as  they  had  threatened,  and  two 
insisted  that  they  must  do  the  same,  or  they  would  be 
charged  with  being  cowards.  The  other  two  reasoned 
against  it,  and  so  debating  they  continued  on  their 
way  to  Acton. 

The  first  house  they  came  to  was  untenanted.  The 
next  was  that  of  Mr.  Kobinson  Jones,  whom  they 
found  at  home  with  his  wife  and  a  young  lady,  a  Miss 
Clara  D.  Wilson.  This  house  they  reached  about 
eleven  o'clock  in  the  morning.  Here  they  got  into  a 
contention  with  Jones  about  his  refusal  to  give  them 
liquor,  and  about  the  failure  of  one  of  them  to  return 
a  gun  which  he  had  borrowed  of  Jones  the  previous 
winter,  in  consequence  of  which  Jones  compelled  them 
to  leave  the  house. 

From  there  they  went  to  Mr.  Howard  Baker's,  a 
quarter  of  a  mile  distant,  where  they  found  Mr.  Baker, 
and  a  Mr.  "Webster  and  his  wife.  Baker  was  a  son  of 
Mrs.  Jones  by  a  former  husband.  Webster  and  his 
wife  were  emigrants  from  Michigan,  and  had  just  ar 
rived  that  day.  They  intended  going  to  a  different 
part  of  the  country,  but  had  on  the  road  fallen  in  with 
Baker,  and  were  by  him  induced  to  come  to  Acton. 

When  the  Indians  came  to  Baker's  they  asked  for 
water,  which  was  given  them.  They  then  wanted  to 
bacco,  and  Mr.  Webster  handed  them  some  tobacco, 
and  they  filled  their  pipes  and  sat  down  and  smoked. 
They  acted  perfectly  friendly  until  Jones  came  over 
with  his  wife  and  began  talking  with  them.  Jones 


A  SPARK  OF   FIRE.  55 

again  accused  the  Indian  of  having  taken  his  gun  to 
shoot  deer,  and  having  never  returned  it,  and  again 
the  Indian  denied  it.  Mrs.  Baker  asked  Mrs.  Jones  if 
she  had  given  them  any  whisky,  and  she  said  ."No, 
we  don't  keep  whisky  for  such  black  devils  as  they." 
The  Indians  appeared  to  understand  what  she  was 
saying,  for  they  became  very  savage  in  their  appear 
ance,  and  Mrs.  Webster  begged  Mrs.  Jones  to  desist. 

The  Indians,  irritated  by  Jones,  had  now  determ 
ined  on  murder.  Presently  Jones  traded  Mr.  Baker's 
double-barreled  gun  with  one  of  the  Indians  for  his, 
and  the  Indians  proposed  that  they  should  go  out  and 
shoot  at  a  mark  for  the  purpose  of  having  the  white 
men  discharge  their  guns.  Jones  accepted  the  banter, 
saying  "that  he  wasn't  afraid  to  shoot  against  any 
damned  Kedskin  that  ever  lived,"  and  they  went  out 
and  fired  at  a  mark.  Webster  had  a  gun,  but  did  not 
go  out  with  the  party,  and  one  of  the  Indians  said 
the  lock  of  his  own  gun  was  defective,  and  persuaded 
Webster  to  take  the  lock  off,  and  to  loan  him  his  own. 
After  they  had  discharged  their  pieces  they  carefully 
loaded  them  again,  which  Jones  and  Baker  omitted  to 
do. 

Then  one  of  the  Indians  started  in  the  direction  of 
Forest  City  for  the  purpose  of  ascertaining  if  there 
were  any  whites  near.  On  his  return  the  four  coun 
seled  together,  and  acted  as  if  they  were  going  away, 
when  they  suddenly  turned  and  fired,  the  shots  taking 
effect  upon  Jones  and  his  wife,  and  Baker  and  Web 
ster.  Jones  started  for  the  woods,  but  a  second  shot 
brought  him  to  the  ground.  The  others  were  mortal 
ly  wounded  at  the  first  fire.  Mrs.  Baker  and  Mrs. 
Jones  were  in  the  house.  Mr.  Webster  was  hit  while 


56  THE   SIOUX  WAR  AND   MASSACRE. 

going  toward  his  covered  wagon  to  bring  some  things 
which  his  wife  was  handing  him  from  it.  The  Indians 
went  immediately  to  Jones's  house,  broke  it  open,  shot 
Miss  Wilson,  and  departed.  Mrs.  Baker,  who  had  a 
child  in  her  arms,  in  her  fright  fell  down  cellar,  and 
was  not  noticed ;  nor  was  Mrs.  Webster,  who  was  in 
the  covered  wagon. 

When  the  Indians  left,  Mrs.  Baker  came  up  from 
the  cellar,  and  she  and  Mrs.  Webster  put  pillows  un 
der  the  heads  of  the  wounded.  Jones  was  a  man  of 
powerful  and  athletic  frame,  six  feet  and  an  inch  in 
height,  straight  as  an  arrow,  with  dark  complexion, 
jet  black  hair  and  whiskers,  and  fiery  eye — the  beau 
ideal  of  a  cavalry  officer,  as  Whitcomb  often  told  him. 
His  fine  physique  offered  great  resistance  to  death. 
So  terrible  were  his  sufferings  that  he  crammed  hand- 
fuls  of  dirt  into  his  mouth  in  his  agony,  and  dug  great 
holes  with  his  heels  in  the  hard  ground.  He  ordered 
his  wife  to  fly  and  save  her  child,  but  she  insisted  on 
remaining  until  he  died,  and  then  went  into  the  woods. 

To  add  to  the  terrors  of  these  helpless  women  in 
this  lonely  place,  while  they  were  listening  to  the 
groans  of  their  husbands  a  white  man  passed  along, 
and  on  his  assistance  being  requested,  looked  at  the 
bodies  and  laughed,  and  said  that  they  now  only  had 
"  the  nose-bleed,"  and  that  the  Indians  would  soon 
come  again  and  finish  them. 

When  the  wounded  were  dead,  Mrs.  Baker  and  Mrs. 
Webster  hastened  to  the  house  of  a  Norwegian  a  few 
miles  distant,  and,  half  dead  with  fright,  narrated  what 
had  occurred.  There  was  no  man  at  home,  and  a  boy 
was  dispatched  to  give  the  alarm  at  Ripley,  twelve 
miles  distant,  where  a  meeting  was  then  being  held  to 


A  SPARK  OF   FIRE.  57 

raise  volunteers  for  the  war.  So  incredulous  were  the 
people  of  any  hostility  on  the  part  of  the  Indians,  that 
they  did  not  credit  what  the  boy  said  for  some  little 
time,  but  finally  they  sent  a  messenger  with  the  news 
to  Forest  City,  twelve  miles  distant,  where  Captain 
Whitcomb  had  a  number  of  recruits ;  and  twelve  or 
fifteen  horsemen  rode  to  Acton,  which  they  reached 
at  dusk.  They  placed  a  wagon-box  over  Jones,  but 
did  not  disturb  the  bodies  until  next  morning,  after  an 
inquest  was  held. 

While  the  inquest  was  progressing,  the  eleven  In 
dians  before  referred  to,  not  knowing  what  their  com 
panions  had  done,  appeared  on  horseback,  and  some 
of  the  whites  who  were  mounted  gave  chase.  They 
crossed  a  slough,  and  all  the  whites  checked  their 
horses  at  the  edge  except  a  daring  fellow  from  Forest 
City,  who  followed  over  and  fired.  One  of  the  Indians 
dismounted  and  returned  the  fire,  and  then  mounted 
his  horse  again  and  fled  with  the  others. 

There  were  seventy -five  persons  at  the  inquest. 
The  surrounding  country  was  thrown  at  once  into  the 
greatest  alarm.  The  danger  to  be  apprehended  from 
the  dissatisfied  condition  of  the  Indians  upon  the  res 
ervation  was  now  fully  appreciated.  A  total  uncer 
tainty  as  to  their  designs  and  their  numbers  prevailed. 

Mak-pe-yah-we-tah  and  his  four  companions  had 
been  to  Captain  Whitcomb's  on  Saturday  and  Sunday, 
and  had  demanded  the  delivery  of  the  former's  wagon 
without  paying  the  amount  for  which  it  had  been 
pledged,  and,  on  Whitcomb's  refusal  to  deliver  it,  had 
threatened  to  cut  the  wagon  to  pieces,  and  had  flour 
ished  their  axes  over  his  head — and  these  still  re 
mained  in  the  neighborhood. 

C2 


58  THE   SIOUX  WAR  AND  MASSACRE. 

Then  thirteen  had  been  at  a  house  five  miles  from 
Acton  on  Sunday  and  cleaned  their  guns  and  ground 
their  knives ;  and  fourteen  of  Little  Crow's  band  were 
in  the  adjoining  county  of  Monongalea.  Messengers 
were  dispatched  at  once  to  the  governor  at  Saint  Paul 
for  assistance. 

The  four  Indians  who  committed  the  murders  im 
mediately  proceeded  to  the  house  of  a  Mr.  Eckland, 
near  Lake  Elizabeth,  and  stole  two  horses,  one  of  them 
engaging  the  owner  in  conversation  while  it  was  done, 
and  then  mounting,  two  on  each  horse,  rode  at  a  rapid 
pace  to  Shakopee's  village,  at  the  mouth  of  Kice  Creek, 
which  they  reached  before  daylight,  and  stated  what 
had  occurred. 


COMMENCEMENT  OF  THE   MASSACRE.  59 


CHAPTER  IY. 

COMMENCEMENT  OF  THE  MASSACRE  AND  THE  BATTLE 
OF   RED-WOOD   FERRY. 

"WHEN  the  relatives  of  the  murderers  heard  their 
story,  they  determined  at  once  to  commence  the  mas 
sacre,  knowing  that,  unless  they  did  so,  the  guilty  par 
ties  would  be  caught  and  delivered  up  to  justice. 

The  more  cautious  of  the  band  were  opposed  to 
this;  but  it  was  finally  understood  that,  as  it  was 
agreed  in  the  council  of  the  previous  evening  to  camp 
at  the  agency  that  night  on  their  way  to  Fort  Ridge- 
ly  and  Saint  Paul,  they  would  start  for  there  as  soon 
as  it  was  light,  and  consult  with  Crow  and  the  other 
Indians  about  the  best  course  to  pursue. 

So  down  they  came  in  the  early  morning,  their 
numbers  increasing  rapidly  with  accessions  from  the 
different  villages,  and  when  they  reached  Crow's  house, 
two  miles  above  the  agency,  they  mustered  one  hund 
red  and  fifty  men,,  most  of  them  armed  and  well  mount 
ed,  and  all  shouting  and  mad  with  enthusiasm,  and 
anxious  and  eager  for  the  fray. 

Crow  had  not  yet  arisen.  He  was  awakened  by 
their  noise,  and  sat  up  with  his  blanket  around  him ; 
and  they  told  him  what  had  transpired,  and  asked 
what  they  had  better  do.  The  exigency  of  the  occa 
sion  was  startling;  and  so  fully  alive  was  he  to  the 
perils  to  which  a  decision  either  way  would  expose 
him,  that,  as  he  afterward  stated,  the  perspiration  came 


60 


THE  SIOUX  WAR  AND   MASSACRE. 


LITTLE  CROW. 


out  in  great  beads  upon  his  forehead.  It  was  evident 
that  the  minds  of  those  before  him  were  made  up,  and 
that  they  would  be  joined  by  all  the  young  men  of 
the  tribes.  Suspicion  of  bribery  by  the  whites  had 
already  attached  to  him  and  defeated  his  election  for 
speakership,  and  his  influence  was  fast  waning.  This 
nettled  his  scheming,  ambitious  spirit,  and  he  knew 
that  if  he  fell  in  with  this  movement  his  eloquence 
and  superior  intellect  would  secure  him  the  leadership 
of  the  nation. 

On  the  other  hand,  in  his  various  trips  to  Washing 
ton,  he  had  acquired  a  knowledge  of  the  immense 
forces  of  the  whites  and  the  danger  of  a  hostile  col 
lision  with  them.  But  the  fear  of  imminent  personal 


COMMENCEMENT  OF  THE   MASSACRE.  61 

danger  which  his  refusal  might  then  incite — the  dream 
of  possible  success — the  ties  and  affinities  of  kindred 
—the  mad  excitement  of  the  hour,  decided  him,  and 
he  said,  "  Trouble  with  the  whites  is  inevitable  sooner 
or  later.  It  may  as  well  take  place  now  as  at  any 
other  time.  I  am  with  you.  Let  us  go  to  the  agency, 
and  kill  the  traders  and  take  their  goods." 

Then  sending  the  news  down  by  swift  messengers 
to  the  bands  of  Wabashaw,  Waconta,  and  Red  Legs, 
the  Indians  hastened  with  Crow  to  the  agency,  break 
ing  up,  as  they  entered  the  village,  into  small  parties, 
and  surrounding  the  different  houses  and  stores.  It 
was  agreed  that  the  attack  upon  the  houses  and  stores 
should  be  as  nearly  simultaneous  as  possible,  and  that 
upon  the  discharge  of  the  first  gun  the  massacre 
should  commence. 

Nothing  save  the  presence  of  an  overawing  force  of 
armed  men  could  now  have  restrained  their  purpose. 
Such  there  was  not.  On  the  contrary,  as  before  stated, 
many  of  the  men  at  the  agency  were  on  the  way  to 
Fort  Snelling  to  be  mustered  into  one  of  the  new  reg 
iments  for  the  Southern  war,  and  those  who  were  left 
were  unprepared  for  defense  and  unsuspicious  of  dan 
ger.  The  doom  of  the  people  was  sealed ;  the  signal 
gun  sounded,  and  "suddenly,  as  from  the  woods  and 
the  fields — suddenly,  as  from  the  chambers  of  the  air 
opening  in  revelations — suddenly,  as  from  the  ground 
yawning  at  their  feet,  leaped  upon  them,  with  the 
flashings  of  cataracts,  Death,  the  crowned  phantom, 
with  all  the  equipage  of  his  terrors,  and  the  tragic 
roar  of  his  voice." 

The  first  shot  was  fired  at  Myrick's  store,  in  the  up 
per  part  of  the  town,  between  six  and  seven  o'clock 


62  THE   SIOUX  WAR  AND   MASSACRE. 

in  the  morning.  James  Lynde  was  the  first  victim. 
He  was  standing  in  the  door  and  saw  them  coming. 
One  of  the  murderers  cried  out  just  before  he  shot, 
"  Now  I  will  kill  the  dog  who  wouldn't  give  me  cred 
it."  Mr.  Lynde  was  a  clerk  in  the  store,  but  had  been 
a  member  of  the  State  Senate,  and  was  possessed  of 
fine  literary  attainments.  Then  they  killed  in  the 
same  store,  almost  immediately,  Divall,  a  clerk,  and 
Fritz,  the  cook. 

Young  My  rick  was  up  stairs,  and  when  the  first 
gun  was  fired  he  concealed  himself  under  a  dry -goods 
box.  The  Indians,  fearful  that  he  would  shoot  at 
them,  dared  not  ascend  the  stairs,  and  after  some  little 
time  hit  upon  a  plan  of  routing  him  by  proposing  to 
burn  the  building.  When  My  rick  heard  this  he  clam 
bered  up  through  the  scuttle,  slipped  down  the  light 
ning-rod  to  the  roof  of  a  low  addition  used  as  a  ware 
house,  and  jumped  to  the  ground,  and  ran  toward  the 
brush  covering  the  steep  bank  of  the  Minnesota  Eiv- 
er,  which  was  near,  and  promised  possible  safety.  As 
he  ran,  some  Winnebagoes  discharged  their  arrows 
at  him  without  effect ;  but  just  as  he  reached  the  thick 
et  a  Sioux  shot  him  with  his  gun  and  brought  him  to 
the  ground,  where  he  was  found  days  afterward  with 
a  scythe  and  many  arrows  sticking  in  his  body. 

At  Forbes's  store  they  killed  Jo.  Belland  and  An- 
toine  Young ;  at  Koberts's  store,  Brusson  ;  and  at  La 
Batte's,  old  La  Batte  and  his  clerk.  The  superintend 
ent  of  farms  was  shot,  and  the  workman  who  was  dig 
ging  the  well  for  a  brick-yard  for  his  destroyers'  ben 
efit.  Many  others  perished  at  the  same  time.  At 
Forbes's  store  they  wounded  George  Spencer  in  the 
arms  and  side,  but  he  was  saved  by  an  Indian  friend. 


THE  CAPTIVE   SAVED. 


COMMENCEMENT  OF  THE   MASSACRE.  65 

Bourat,  a  clerk,  ran  up  stairs.  Presently  he  heard  one 
say,  "  Let  us  go  up  and  kill  him,  and  get  him  out  of 
the  way,"  and  he  determined  to  make  a  rush  for  his 
life.  He  dashed  down  the  stairs,  and  succeeded  in 
getting  about  two  hundred  yards  from  the  store,  when 
he  received  a  heavy  charge  of  duck-shot  in  the  side, 
which  brought  him  down.  Another  shot  was  fired, 
which  took  effect  in  his  left  leg.  Then  the  Indians 
came  up,  stripped  him  of  his  clothing  and  shoes,. and 
piled  some  logs  over  him  to  prevent  his  escape,  prom 
ising  to  come  back  soon  and  cut  him  up.  He  suc 
ceeded  in  extricating  himself  from  the  logs  and  mak 
ing  his  escape  after  the  most  excruciating  torture. 

The  Indians  being  much  engaged  in  plundering  the 
stores,  many  escaped  uninjured.  Among  these  was 
the  Kev.Mr.Hindman,  who  lived  in  the  lower  part  of 
the  town.  He  thus  stated  to  the  writer  his  experience 
on  that  eventful  morning : 

"I  arose  early,  expecting  to  go  to  Faribault;  had 
just  finished  breakfast,  and  was  sitting  outside  smok 
ing  a  pipe  and  talking  with  a  mason  about  a  job  which 
he  had  just  finished  upon  the  new  church  which  I  was 
building.  Presently  I  saw  a  number  of  Indians  pass 
ing  down,  nearly  naked  and  armed  with  guns.  The 
mason  exclaimed, '  I  guess  they  are  going  to  have  a 
dance.'  'No,'  said  Dr.  Humphreys's  son,  who  was 
standing  near  us,  '  they  have  guns,  and  are  not  going 
to  dance.'  Then  I  noticed  that,  instead  of  going  by, 
they  commenced  sitting  down  on  the  steps  of  various 
buildings. 

"  About  this  time  I  heard  the  guns  in  the  upper 
town.  A  man  by  the  name  of  W hippie  said  he  guess 
ed  the  Chippeways  had  come  over,  and  they  were  hav- 


66  THE   SIOUX  WAR  AND   MASSACRE. 

ing  a  battle.  He  then  crossed  the  road  to  "his  board 
ing-house.  I  soon  noticed  that  the  people  at  the  board 
ing-house  who  could  see  the  upper  stores  were  run 
ning  down  the  bluff.  Then  four  Indians  came  down 
the  street.  One  of  them  left  the  others,  and  went  into 
the  Indian  farmer  Prescott's  house,  and  came  imme 
diately  out.  Frank  Kobertson,  a  young  clerk  in  the 
employ  of  the  government,  followed  him  out,  looking 
very  pale.  I  asked  him  what  was  the  matter.  He 
said  he  didn't  know,  but  that  the  Indian  told  them  all 
to  stay  in  the  house.  He  told  me  he  thought  there 
was  going  to  be  trouble,  and  started  for  Beaver  Creek, 
a  few  miles  above,  where  his  mother  lived. 

"  Soon  White  Dog,  formerly  president  of  the  '  Farm 
er'  Indians,  ran  past  very  much  frightened.  I  asked 
him  what  the  matter  was,  and  he  said  that  there  was 
awful  work,  and  that  he  was  going  to  see  Wabashaw 
about  it.  Then  Crow,  in  company  with  another  In 
dian,  went  by  the  gate,  and  I  asked  Crow  what  was 
the  matter.  He  was  usually  very  polite,  but  now  he 
made  no  answer,  and,  regarding  me  with  a  savage  look, 
went  on  toward  the  stable,  the  next  building  below. 

"  Just  before  Wagner  ran  by,  and  I  asked  him  also 
what  the  trouble  was.  He  said  the  Indians  were  go 
ing  to  the  stable  to  steal  horses,  and  that  he  was  going 
there  to  stop  them.  I  told  him  that  he  had  better  not, 
as  I  was  afraid  there  was  trouble.  He  paid  no  atten 
tion  to  what  I  said.  The  next  I  saw  was  the  Indians 
leading  away  the  horses,  and  Wagner,  John  Lamb,  and 
another  person  trying  to  prevent  them.  By  this  time 
Crow  had  reached  them,  and  I  heard  him  say  to  the 
Indians, '  What  are  you  doing  ?  Why  don't  you  shoot 
these  men  ?  What  are  you  waiting  for  ?'  Immediate- 


COMMENCEMENT  OF  THE   MASSACRE.  67 

ly  the  Indians  fired,  wounding  Wagner,  who  escaped 
across  the  river  to  die,  and  killing  Lamb  and  the  oth 
er  man. 

"Then  I  found  Mrs.  West,  and  we  started  for  the 
ferry.  After  we  got  about  half  way  she  ran  into  a 
house,  and  I  lost  sight  of  her. 

"  Just  as  I  got  to  Dickerson's  house  I  came  across  a 
German  who  was  wounded.  I  managed  to  get  him 
down  the  hill  and  put  him  into  a  skiff,  and  we  passed 
safely  over,  and  arrived  at  Fort  Kidgely  about  three 
o'clock.  The  people  were  crossing  the  ferry  rapidly, 
and  flying  in  every  direction."  The  bands  of  Wa- 
bashaw  and  of  the  other  chiefs  below  the  agency  soon 
came  up  and  joined  in  the  plundering  and  murdering. 
When  the  work  was  completed  at  the  agency,  the  sav 
ages  rapidly  betook  themselves  to  the  surrounding 
country.  The  ferryman,  Mauley,  who  resolutely  fer 
ried  across  the  river  at  the  agency  all  who  desired  to 
cross,  was  killed  on  the  other  side  just  as  he  had  pass 
ed  the  last  man  over.  He  was  disemboweled;  his 
head,  hands,  and  feet  cut  off,  and  thrust  into  the  cavi 
ty.  Obscure  Frenchman  though  he  was,  the  blood  of 
no  nobler  hero  dyed  the  battle-fields  of  Thermopylae 
or  Marathon.  William  Taylor,  a  colored  man,  fly 
ing  from  the  agency,  was  also  shot  on  the  opposite 
side  of  the  river,  two  miles  below.  A  few  days  be 
fore  he  had  dressed  himself  in  the  Indian  fashion,  and 
had  his  daguerreotype  taken,  and  given  it  to  Crow, 
and  if  he  had  been  present  Taylor  would  probably 
not  have  been  killed.  He  was  a  barber,  and  an  old 
resident  of  St.  Paul — a  fat,  jolly,  good-natured,  kindly 
fellow,  who  never  did  an  ungentlemanly  act.  With 
his  tonsorial  accomplishments  he  was  possessed  of  fine 


68  THE   SIOUX  WAR  AND   MASSACRE. 

musical  taste,  and  his  twanging  violin  was  always  in 
demand  at  the  balls  and  parties  of  the  city. 

Dr.  Humphreys,  the  physician  to  the  Lower  In 
dians,  fled  with  his  wife  and  three  children,  two  boys 
and  a  girl,  the  eldest  aged  twelve  years,  and  reached 
the  house  of  one  Magner,  two  miles  from  the  river. 
The  doctor  sent  one  of  the  boys  down  a  little  hill  to 
bring  some  water,  as  they  were  very  thirsty.  While 
the  child  was  gone  the  Indians  killed  his  father,  and 
burned  his  mother  and  the  other  two  children  in  the 
house.  Hearing  the  report  of  the  fatal  gun,  and  see 
ing  the  Indians,  the  child  remained  concealed  until 
they  left.  When  he  emerged  from  his  hiding-place 
he  went  and  looked  at  his  father,  and  found  that  the 
miscreants  had  cut  his  -throat.  Then  he  retired  to  a 
hiding-place  again,  and  presently  some  more  Indians 
came  along  and  chopped  off  his  father's  head  with  an 
axe.  All  the  buildings  at  the  agency  but  two  were 
committed  to  the  flames. 

Down  the  river,  on  each  side,  below  the  fort,  and 
within  six  miles  of  New  Ulm,  and  up  the  river  to 
Yellow  Medicine,  the  massacres  that  day  extended. 
At  Beaver  Creek,  and  at  the  Sacred  Heart  Creek, 
large  numbers  perished.  Parties  gathering  together 
for  flight  with  their  teams  and  movables,  and  par 
tially  armed,  would  be  suddenly  met  by  large  bands 
of  Indians,  and,  seeing  the  futility  of  resistance,  would 
give  up  every  thing,  thinking  that  thereby  they  would 
appease  the  wrath  of  their  opponents,  and  be  allowed 
to  escape,  but  all  in  vain.  Quick  and  barbarous  de 
struction  was  their  portion.  Occasionally  some  would 
be  allowed  to  indulge  in  a  hope  of  escape,  and  to  pass 
a  little  distance  on  their  way,  but  soon  a  gunshot 


COMMENCEMENT   OF  THE   MASSACRE.  69 

would  bring  them  to  the  ground,  and  death  would 
teach  them  that  their  foes  were  only  toying  with  them 
as  the  cat  toys  with  the  mouse. 

The  naked  forms  of  the  savages,  hideous  with 
paint,  their  mad  shouts  and  wild  merriment,  increased 
the  horrors  of  the  victim.  Former  friendship  and 
kindness  availed  nothing.  On  the  contrary,  the  In 
dians  started  off  at  first  to  the  neighborhood  where 
they  had  camped  on  their  hunting  excursions,  and 
been  hospitably  treated  by  the  murdered.  Helpless 
ness,  innocence,  tender  age,  prayers,  tears — these  were 
not  calculated  to  induce  mercy.  They  served  but  to 
furnish  embellishments  for  the  tale  to  be  told  for  the 
plaudits  of  the  camp,  where  narratives  of  common 
slaughter  had  become  stale,  and  excess  in  cruelty  re 
ceived  the  palm.  Continually  discussing  and  puz 
zling  their  minds  as  to  how  they  should  outvie  one 
another  in  the  next  outrage,  by  adding  some  new  ele 
ment  of  atrocity,  nothing  which  devilish  ingenuity 
could  suggest  was  omitted. 

A  gentleman  living  near  New  Ulm  with  his  family 
went  to  the  town  without  apprehending  any  danger. 
While  he  was  gone  the  Indians  came  and  killed  two 
of  his  children  before  their  mother's  eyes,  and  were 
quickly  dispatching  her  infant  son,  when  she  seized 
it  and  fled  to  her  mother's  house,  a  few  yards  distant. 
They  pursued  her  and  shot  at  her  a  number  of  times, 
but  without  success.  They  killed  her  mother,  her 
sister,  and  servant-girl,  but  she  escaped  with  her  in 
fant.  When  the  father  returned,  he  found  one  of  his 
boys,  aged  twelve  years,  who  had  been  left  for  dead, 
still  living,  and  he  dragged  him  from  the  field.  While 
doing  so  five  bullets  whizzed  about  his  ears.  He 


70  THE   SIOUX  WAR  AND  MASSACRE. 

brought  him  safely  to  St.  Peter's,  though  cut  and 
bruised  in  every  limb,  his  face  horribly  mangled,  and 
his  skull  fractured.  An  eye-witness  of  his  sufferings 
says,  "  He  was  asleep,  but  occasionally  a  low,  heart- 
piercing  moan  would  escape  his  lips.  At  times  he 
would  attempt  to  turn  over,  and  then,  in  the  agony 
occasioned  by  the  effort,  he  would  groan  most  piteous- 
ly.  At  length  he  awoke,  his  lips  quivered  with  pain, 
and  the  meaningless  expression  of  his  eyes  added  new 
horrors  to  the  dreadful  scene,  until,  sickened  to  my 
soul,  I  left  the  room." 

Another  little  boy,  whom  they  left  for  dead,  was 
brought  into  the  settlements  badly  wounded.  They 
had  driven  a  knife  into  his  right  eye,  and  it  had  fallen 
from  its  socket  and  decayed  upon  his  cheek. 

A  farmer  and  his  two  sons  were  engaged  in  stack 
ing  wheat.  Twelve  Indians  approached  unseen  to  a 
fence,  and  from  behind  it  shot  the  three.  Then  they 
entered  the  farmer's  house  and  killed  two  of  his  young 
children  in  the  presence  of  their  mother,  who  was  ill 
with  consumption,  and  dragged  the  mother  and  a 
daughter  aged  thirteen  years  miles  away  to  their 
camp.  There,  in  the  presence  of  her  dying  mother, 
they  stripped  off  her  clothes,  fastened  her  upon  her 
back  to  the  ground,  and  one  by  one  violated  her  per 
son  until  death  came  to  her  relief. 

One  Indian  went  into  a  house  where  a  woman  was 
making  bread.  Her  small  child  was  in  the  cradle. 
He  split  the  mother's  head  open  with  his  tomahawk, 
and  then  placed  the  babe  in  the  hot  oven,  where  he 
kept  it  until  it  was  almost  dead,  when  he  took  it  out 
and  beat  out  its  brains  against  the  wall. 

Children  were  nailed  living  to  tables  and  doors,  and 


COMMENCEMENT  OF   THE   MASSACEE.  71 

knives  and  tomahawks  thrown  at  them  until  they  per 
ished  from  fright  and  physical  pain.  The  womb  of 
the  pregnant  mother  was  ripped  open,  the  palpitating 
infant  torn  forth,  cut  into  bits,  and  thrown  into  the 
face  of  the  dying  woman.  The  hands  and  heads  of 
the  victims  were  cut  off,  their  hearts  ripped  out,  and 
other  disgusting  mutilations  inflicted.  Whole  families 
were  burned  alive  in  their  homes. 

Before  noon  the  news  of  the  outbreak  reached  the 
fort,  and  Captain  Marsh,  of  the  5th  regiment  of  Min 
nesota  Volunteers,  started  at  once  for  the  agency  with 
forty-eight  men.  He  was  mounted  on  a  mule,  and  his 
men  were  in  wagons. 

Mr.  Hindman,  with  ten  fugitives  from  the  agency, 
met  him  at  two  o'clock  a  mile  from  the  fort.  Mr. 
Hindman  asked  him  if  he  was  going  to  the  ferry  at 
the  agency.  He  said  he  was,  and  the  former  cau 
tioned  him  against  it,  telling  him  if  he  went  there  he 
would  be  sure  to  get  into  trouble ;  that  the  Indians 
were  killing  every  body,  and  that  he  had  better  go  no 
farther  than  the  bluff  opposite  the  ferry,  and  there 
collect  what  women  and  children  he  could,  and  bring 
them  into  the  fort.  He  replied  that  he  had  plenty  of 
powder  and  lead,  and  enough  men  to  whip  all  the  In 
dians  between  there  and  the  Pacific  Ocean,  and  that 
he  was  not  only  going  to  the  ferry,  but  across  the  ferry. 

Hindman  told  him  that  it  was  none  of  his  business, 
but  that  the  Indians  outnumbered  him  three  to  one, 
and  that  certain  death  awaited  him.  The  other  fugi 
tives  with  Hindman  coincided  in  his  admonitions ;  but 
Marsh,  naturally  a  brave,  daring  fellow,  and  experi 
enced  in  war  by  his  service  in  a  Wisconsin  regiment 
during  the  Virginia  campaign,  and  sharing  in  the  com- 


72  THE   SIOUX  WAR  AND   MASSACRE. 

rnon  contempt  of  Indian  valor,  thanked  them  for  their 
suggestions  and  rode  on. 

Five  miles  from  the  ferry  they  met  John  Magner, 
a  member  of  Marsh's  company,  who  had  been  visiting 
his  home  near  the  agency  on  furlough.  It  was  in  his 
house  that  Dr.  Humphre}^s's  wife  and  children  were 
burned.  He  had  lain  secreted  in  a  cornfield,  and  had 
witnessed  the  flames  of  his  house,  and  had  seen  many 
of  the  people  slain.  Marsh  ascertained  from  him  what 
had  happened,  but,  nothing  daunted,  boldly  advanced 
to  the  ferry. 

On  the  road  they  saw  many  dead  bodies.  Dr.  Hum- 
phreys's  little  boy,  who  had  remained  concealed  until 
now,  joined  them,  as  also  did  another  fugitive,  and  ac 
companied  them  to  the  ferry.  When  they  reached 
the  ferry,  which  was  at  sundown,  the  Indians  came  to 
the  opposite  bank,  and  a  conversation  ensued  between 
them  and  Marsh,  through  his  interpreter  Quinn. 

Marsh  told  them  he  was  coming  over  to  look  into 
things,  and  ascertain  what  the  trouble  was.  Some  said 
he  must  not,  and  that  they  would  shoot  any  one  who 
tried  it.  White  Dog  advised  him  to  cross.  While 
this  parley  was  going  on,  many  Indians  had  secretly 
crossed  over  and  surrounded  Marsh.  It  was  a  long 
distance  across  the  bottom  to  the  bluff.  Both  banks 
were  wooded,  and  thick  with  tall  grass  and  bushes. 
On  the  opposite  shore,  around  the  saw-mill,  were  many 
logs,  behind  which  Indians  lay  concealed. 

Marsh  saw  nothing  of  the  Indians  on  his  side  of  the 
river,  and  sent  Magner  a  little  distance  below  to  where 
lie  could  get  a  good  view  to  ascertain  the  numbers  on 
the  other  side,  and  sent  another  man  into  the  water  to 
bring  in  the  ferry-boat,  which  was  a  few  feet  from 


COMMENCEMENT  OF  THE   MASSACKE.  73 

shore.  Magner  soon  returned,  and  told  him  it  was 
certain  death  to  cross.  Others  sided  with  Magner,  and 
Marsh  said  he  would  this  time  yield  his  own  judgment 
to  that  of  others,  and  ordered  his  men  who  were  front 
ing  the  ferry  to  an  about  face.  The  Indians  evident 
ly  desired  all  the  soldiers  to  get  upon  the  boat  and 
partly  across  the  river  before  they  fired,  as  then  all 
could  be  killed. 

As  soon  as  it  became  manifest  that  the  idea  of  cross 
ing  was  abandoned,  Little  Crow  gave  the  signal  to 
White  Dog  to  fire.  White  Dog  passed  it  to  others, 
and  from  every  side,  amid  hideous  yells,  burst  on  the 
terror-stricken  whites  the  storm  of  bullets.  Nearly 
half  of  their  number  fell  at  the  first  fire,  and  those 
who  were  not  killed  outright  perished  by  the  toma 
hawk. 

Quinn,  the  interpreter,  who  was  standing  with  his 
band  on  the  corner  of  the  ferry-house,  received  twenty 
balls  in  his  body,  and,  at  the  same  time,  an  Indian 
standing  close  by  shot  him  with  arrows.  The  sur 
vivors  sought  safety  in  flight,  discharging,  however, 
before  they  left,  several  volleys  at  their  enemies,  by 
which  one  was  killed  and  five  wounded. 

Captain  Marsh  was  uninjured,  although  he  stood 
close  beside  Quinn,  and  had  his  mule  killed  under 
him.  Gathering  nine  of  his  men  together,  among 
whom  was  Magner,  he  succeeded  in  getting  two  miles 
down  the  river,  but,  discovering  that  the  Indians  were 
cutting  off  his  way  to  the  fort,  he  ordered  his  men  to 
cross  the  stream  at  a  point  where  it  was  supposed  to 
be  fordable,  and  bravely  led  the  way  himself,  holding 
over  his  head  his  revolver  in  one  hand,  and  his  sword 
in  the  other.  He  was  soon  beyond  his  depth,  and  it 

D 


74  THE  SIOUX  WAR  AND   MASSACRE. 

was  perceived  that  he  was  drowning.  Magner  and 
another  man  went  to  his  assistance,  but  too  late.  He 
sank  from  their  sight,  and  his  corpse  was  found  in  the 
river  miles  below  some  days  afterward.  He  must 
have  suddenly  been  taken  with  cramp,  as  he  was  an 
expert  swimmer. 

His  nine  companions  safely  made  their  way  into  the 
fort.  Others  also  escaped ;  among  them  was  Dr.  Hum- 
phreys's  son.  Twenty-four  of  the  number  perished. 

Nine  Winnebagoes  were  present,  and  participated 
in  the  battle.  Little  Priest,  one  of  their  most  distin 
guished  chiefs,  was  seen  to  fire  upon  the  whites.  The 
Indians  were  highly  jubilant  over  this  success.  What 
ever  of  doubt  there  was  before  among  some  as  to  the 
propriety  of  embarking  in  the  massacres  disappeared, 
and  the  Lower  Indians  became  a  unit  upon  the  ques 
tion.  Their  dead  enemies  were  lying  all  around  them, 
and  their  camp  was  filled  with  captives.  They  had 
taken  plenty  of  arms,  and  powder,  and  lead,  and  provi 
sions,  and  clothing.  The  "Farmer"  Indians  and  mem 
bers  of  the  Church,  fearing,  like  all  other  renegades, 
that  suspicion  of  want  of  zeal  in  the  cause  would  rest 
upon  them,  to  avoid  it  became  more  bloody  and  brutal 
in  their  language  and  conduct  than  the  others. 

During  the  day  three  messengers  were  dispatched 
with  the  news  to  the  Upper  Indians  at  Yellow  Medi 
cine.  The  first  messenger  was  not  believed.  When 
his  report  was  confirmed  by  the  second  messenger,  the 
Indians  assembled  together  in  council  to  the  number 
of  one  hundred  or  more.  Among  them  were  thirty 
of  the  young  Yanktonais.  They  were  divided  in  senti 
ment  as  to  what  action  should  be  taken.  Some  advised 
the  killing  of  all  the  whites,  and  the  taking  of  their 


COMMENCEMENT  OF  THE   MASSACKE.  75 

goods,  as  they  would  all  be  considered  by  the  whites 
as  embroiled  in  the  difficulties  which  had  already 
taken  place.  The  others  insisted  that  the  whites 
should  be  sent  to  the  settlement,  with  their  horses 
and  what  they  could  carry  away. 

Other  Day,  a  civilized  Indian,  addressed  the  coun- 


OTHEK   DAY. 


cil,  telling  them  that  they  might  easily  kill  a  few  un 
armed  whites — five,  ten,  or  a  hundred — but  the  conse 
quence  would  be  that  their  whole  country  would  be 
soon  filled  with  soldiers  of  the  United  States,  and  all 
of  the  Indians  would  be  killed  or  driven  away.  "  Some 
of  you,"  he  said,  "  say  you  have  horses,  and  can  escape 
to  the  plains ;  but  what,  I  ask  you,  will  become  of 
those  who  have  no  horses?" 

Their  reply  was  that  they  would  have  to  suffer  for 


76  THE   SIOUX  WAK  AND   MASSACRE. 

what  the  others  had  done  in  any  event.  Then  came 
the  other  messenger  with  news  of  Marsh's  disaster,  and 
the  council  broke  up  in  a  row,  and  the  Yanktonais, 
Sissetons,  and  a  few  of  the  Wahpetons  moved  toward 
the  houses  of  the  whites  for  an  attack. 

Then  Other  Day  seized  his  wife,  who  was  a  white 
woman,  by  the  arm,  took  his  gun,  and  went  to  the 
houses  of  the  whites,  who  kflew  nothing  of  the  assem 
bling  of  the  council,  to  warn  them  of  their  danger,  and 
they  assembled  in  the  warehouse  to  the  number  of 
fifty,  with  the  determination  to  defend  themselves  to 
the  last  extremity.  Other  Day  and  four  of  his  rela 
tives  stood  on  the  outside  of  the  building  all  night,  to 
watch  for  and  give  notice  of  any  attack.  "While  there, 
squads  of  Indians  hovered  around,  watching  an  oppor 
tunity  to  catch  them  unawares.  At  ten  o'clock  they 
went  to  Grarvie's  store,  and  found  him  there,  as  he 
supposed  they  were  only  bent  upon  pillage.  They 
fired  seven  shots  at  him,  two  of  which  took  effect.  He 
ran  up  stairs,  got  his  gun,  jumped  oat  of  the  second 
story  window,  and  made  his  way  into  the  warehouse. 
Two  others  were  killed  on  the  bottom  lands  near  the 
agency  buildings. 

About  daybreak  they  heard  a  gun  go  off  near  a 
warehouse  a  mile  away,  followed  by  others  in  rapid 
succession,  and  then  a  general  yell  as  the  Indians 
broke  into  the  building.  Then  those  who  were  watch 
ing  the  whites  ran  for  this  warehouse,  and  the  whites, 
under  the  guidance  of  Other  Day,  crossed  the  river 
and  made  their  way  to  the  settlements.  The  party 
consisted  of  forty- two  women  and  children,  and  twen 
ty  men.  Among  the  former  was  the  wife  and  chil 
dren  of  the  agent,  Mr.  Galbraith.  Garvie  was  left  at 


COMMENCEMENT   OF  THE   MASSACKE.  77 

Hutchinson,  and  died  soon  after  from  the  effects  of  his 
wounds. 

On  the  same  Monday  night,  at  nine  o'clock,  the  peo 
ple  at  Mr.  Eiggs's  place,  six  miles  above  the  Upper 
Agency,  were  informed  of  the  danger  by  friendly  In 
dians,  and  forty-two,  including  the  missionaries,  Eiggs 
and  Williamson,  made  their  escape. 

Messengers  were  dispatched  by  the  Indians  at  once 
to  all  the  Indians  to  notify  them  of  what  was  being 
enacted.  Fort  Eidgely  and  New  Ulm  were  filled 
with  fugitives  that  night,  many  bleeding  from  ghastly 
wounds,  and  all  trembling  with  affright.  Blazing 
houses  were  to  be  seen  in  every  direction  as  the  in 
cendiaries  plied  their  hellish  work.  The  frightened 
inmates  prepared  themselves  for  battle  as  well  as  they 
might,  and  dispatched  messengers  for  relief  to  the  set 
tlements,,  and  after  Lieutenant  Shehan,  who  had  start 
ed  on  the  16th  for  Fort  Eipley,  to  accompany  Com 
missioner  Dole,  who  was  about  to  make  a  treaty  with 
the  Eed  Lake  Chippeways.  The  messenger  overtook 
Shehan  forty  miles  away  that  night,  and  also  carried 
the  news  to  St.  Peter's  and  other  towns. 


78  THE   SIOUX  WAR  AND   MASSACRE. 


CHAPTER  Y. 

THE  ATTACKS  UPON"  NEW  ULM  AND  FORT  RIDGELY. 

AGENT  GALBRAITH,  with  his  company  of  forty -five 
men,  who  were  known  as  the  "Eenville  Rangers," 
were  in  St.  Peter's  when  the  news  arrived.  That  night 
was  spent  in  running  bullets,  and  getting  ready  for 
the  relief  of  the  fort  and  New  Ulm. 

Early  in  the  morning  the  bells  were  rung,  and  the 
alarm  generally  given.  The  people  assembled  be 
tween  seven  and  eight  o'clock  to  determine  upon  a 
course  of  action.  The  Renville  Rangers  had  started 
between  six  and  seven  o'clock  for  the  fort,  and  it  was 
determined  to  send  a  detachment  to  the  succor  of  New 
Ulm. 

The  meeting  adopted  a  resolution  that  every  man 
who  had  any  character  of  fire-arms  or  ammunition 
should  produce  them,  and  notify  his  neighbors  to  do 
the  same,  at  the  Court-house,  within  the  next  hour, 
for  which  time  the  meeting  adjourned. 

At  the  expiration  of  the  hour  the  people  reassem 
bled,  bringing  with  them  every  description  of  fire-arms 
that  could  be  obtained.  Then  a  committee  was  ap 
pointed  who  collected  lead,  powder,  and  caps,  and  an 
organization  had  by  the  election  of  the  Hon.  Charles 
E.  Flandreau,  associate  justice  of  the  Supreme  Court, 
as  captain,  "William  B.  Dodd  as  first  lieutenant,  and 
Mr.  Meyer  as  second  lieutenant.  Every  body  busied 
himself  in  getting  wagons,  horses,  ammunition,  blank- 


ATTACKS   UPON  NEW   ULM   AND   FORT  RIDGELY.   79 


CHAKLES  E.  FLANDEEATT. 


ets,  cooking  utensils,  and  provisions,  and  by  eleven 
o'clock  sixteen  men,  mounted  and  tolerably  well 
armed,  reported  themselves  for  duty.  Ex -Sheriff 
Boardman  was  placed  in  charge  of  this  squad,  and 
directed  to  scout  toward  New  Ulm.  He  started  off 
at  once. 

Little  Crow,  with  three  hundred  and  twenty  warri 
ors,  left  the  agency  for  the  fort  during  the  morning, 
pursuant  to  an  understanding  had  the  previous  even 
ing,  but  on  the  way  dissensions  arose,  which  resulted 
in  a  division  of  the  force.  One  hundred  and  twenty, 
under  Little  Crow,  went  to  the  vicinity  of  the  fort,  but 
made  no  attack  that  day.  While  they  were  concealed 
in  the  neighborhood,  Shehan  and  Galbraith,  with  their 


80  THE   SIOUX  WAR  AND  MASSACRE. 

men,  made  their  way  into  the  fort  unmolested.  Had 
the  design  of  attacking  the  fort,  which  was  proposed 
by  Crow,  been  carried  out,  it  could  easily  have  been 
taken,  as  the  garrison  only  numbered  about  thirty  ef 
fective  men  before  the  arrival  of  the  re-enforcements. 

The  remainder  of  the  party,  intent  upon  plunder, 
scattered  themselves  through  the  settlements  around 
New  Ulm  and  on  the  Cotton-Wood. 

At  four  o'clock  one  hundred  of  them  gathered  to 
gether,  and  made  an  attack  upon  the  town,  burning 
the  buildings  on  the  outskirts,  and  killing  several  per 
sons  in  the  street.  This  town  contained  a  population 
of  some  1500  souls,  principally  Germans,  and  this 
number  was-  now  largely  increased  by  the  fugitives. 
It  is  situate  on  the  Minnesota  Eiver,  twenty -eight 
miles  above  St.  Peter's.  The  houses  were  scattered 
over  a  long  extent  of  ground,  and  this  rendered  the 
place  difficult  of  defense.  While  the  attack  was  pro 
gressing,  Boardman,  with  his  fifteen  mounted  men,  ar 
rived  at  the  ferry,  and  dashed  into  the  town  at  full 
gallop. 

The  people  were  in  a  state  of  utter  frenzy,  and  there 
was  no  organization  for  defense.  The  interior  of  the 
town  was  barricaded,  making  a  large  square,  surround 
ed  by  wagons,  barrels,  and  all  kinds  of  trumpery,  with 
in  which  the  people  were  huddled  together  like  a  flock 
of  frightened  sheep.  As  soon  as  Boardman's  men  ar 
rived,  they  went  outside  of  the  barricades,  and,  by  vig 
orous  firing,  drove  the  Indians  away  at  dark  with  a 
loss  of  several  killed  and  wounded.  It  is  conceded 
that  these  men  saved  the  town. 

During  this  attack,  Samuel  Coffin,  from  Nicollet 
County,  who  had  gone  to  New  Ulm  to  inquire  about 


ATTACKS   UPON  NEW   ULM  AND   FORT  RIDGELY.    81 

the  massacre,  and  the  Kev.  Charles  A.  Stein,  from  Jud- 
son,  and  Messrs.  Buel,  Swift,*  and  Boardman,  of  St. 
Peter's,  were  conspicuous  for  their  gallantry.  While 
the  fight  was  progressing,  the  latter  volunteered  to  re 
turn  toward  St.  Peter's  and  inform  Judge  Flandreau 
of  the  situation  of  affairs.  On  his  way  from  town 
he  was  attacked  and  fired  upon  by  the  Indians,  but 
succeeded  in  crossing  the  ferry  and  making  his  way 
into  St.  Peter's,  although  he  took  a  different  road  from 
Flandreau,  and  missed  seeing  him.  Flandreau  left  St. 
Peter's  at  one  o'clock,  with  one  hundred  men  from 
that  place  and  Le  Sueur,  and  arrived  at  the  ferry  about 
nine  that  evening.  The  buildings  in  the  town  were 
still  blazing. 

They  made  their  way  safely  into  the  town,  and  were 
heartily  welcomed  by  the  people.  ISTor  were  they  less 
pleased,  for  they  were  drenched  to  the  skin  and  shiv 
ering  with  cold.  Guards  were  kept  out  during  the 
whole  night  in  expectation  of  an  attack.  The  next 
day  was  passed  in  strengthening  the  barricades  and 
organizing  the  men  generally  for  defense.  Judge 
Flandreau  was  selected  as  commander-in-chief,  and  he 
appointed  Captain  Dodd  provost  marshal,  and  S.  A. 
Buell  deputy.  Dr.  Daniels,  of  St.  Peter's,  Dr.  M'Ma- 
han,  of  Mankato,  Drs.  Ayer  and  Mayo,  of  Le  Sueur, 
and  the  resident  German  physicians  of  the  town,  were 
placed  in  charge  of  the  sick  and  wounded.  A  public 
butcher  was  also  appointed,  and  foraging  and  scout 
ing  parties  selected.  A  theodolyte  was  placed  on  one 
of  the  principal  buildings,  by  which  the  country  for 
three  miles  around  could  be  swept,  and  persons  sta 
tioned  there  to  keep  a  sharp  look-out.  During  the 

*  Now  Governor  of  Minnesota. 

D2 


82  THE  SIOUX  WAR  AND  MASSACRE. 

day  fifty  men  from  Mankato,  under  Captain  Bierbaur, 
arrived,  and  about  the  same  number  from  Le  Sueur. 

No  Indians  appearing,  the  men  commenced  roam 
ing  about  the  prairie.  A  mile  and  a  half  from  town 
they  found  nine  men,  some  dead  and  others  nearly  so 
— all  horribly  mutilated.  These  were  a  portion  of  a 
party  of  sixteen  who  had  started  for  their  homes  at 
Leavenworth,  on  the  Cotton-Wood,  and,  being  beset 
by  Indians,  endeavored  to  make  their  way  back  dur 
ing  the  attack  on  the  previous  day.  Three  of  the 
party  were  seated  upon  a  buck -board  on  a  wagon. 
Two  were  killed.  The  horses  were  hit  and  ran,  and 
the  wagon  struck  a  clod  and  knocked  the  board  off. 
The  survivor  managed  to  suspend  himself  to  the  reach 
with  his  feet  and  hands,  and  was  so  carried  untouched 
into  the  town,  the  horses  on  the  full  gallop,  and  one 
of  them  dropping  dead  as  soon  as  they  arrived.  An 
other,  who  had  been  fearfully  cut  with  hatchets, 
crawled  up  a  cow  and  sucked  her  milk,  and  was  after 
ward  picked  up.  Many  dead  bodies  were  found  and 
buried.  There  were  no  farther  signs  of  Indians  for 
several  days. 

At  a  quarter  past  three  o'clock  P.M.  on  "Wednes 
day,  Little  Crow,  being  re-enforced  by  those  who  had 
been  at  New  Ulm  on  the  previous  day,  made  an  at 
tack  upon  Fort  Kidgely.  The  garrison  were  not  ex 
pecting  any  thing  of  the  kind,  and  were  at  once  thrown 
into  the  utmost  confusion.  The  first  announcement 
that  the  Indians  were  in  the  neighborhood  was  a  vol 
ley  fired  through  one  of  the  openings,  which  was  at 
tended  with  fatal  effect.  Sergeant  Jones,  the  ordi 
nance  sergeant,  attempted  to  use  the  cannon,  but 
found,  to  his  surprise,  that  they  could  not  be  dis- 


ATTACKS   UPON  NEW   ULM  AND   FORT  EIDGELY.   83 

charged.  On  removing  the  charges,  they  were  found 
to  be  stuffed  with  rags,  the  work  of  some  half-breeds, 
who  had  left  the  fort  under  pretense  of  going  to  cut 
km-ne-kin-mc,*  and  had  deserted  to  the  enemy.  They 
were  reloaded,  and  a  brisk  fire  kept  up.  At  half  past 
six  o'clock  in  the  evening  the  attack  ceased,  with  a 
loss  to  the  garrison  of  three  killed  and  eight  wound 
ed,  and  to  the  Indians  of  several  killed  and  wounded. 
Among  the  latter  was  Little  Crow,  who  was  grazed 
across  the  breast  by  a  cannon  ball. 

On  Thursday  morning,  at  half  past  nine  o'clock,  the 
attack  was  renewed,  and  lasted  for  about  half  an  hour. 
At  ten  minutes  before  six  o'clock  P.M.  the  attack 
was  again  renewed,  and  continued  about  the  same 
length  of  time.  The  assailants  were  by  no  means  as 
numerous  as  before,  as  many  had  left  upon  marauding 
excursions  through  the  surrounding  neighborhood. 

Little  Crow  returned  that  night  with  his  men  to  the 
agency,  and  found  that  the  Upper  Indians,  whom  he 
had  sent  for  by  Little  Six,  had  arrived;  and  next 
morning,  enthusiastic  with  the  hope  of  success,  450 
warriors,  Little  Crow  among  the  number,  started  for 
the  fort  with  a  long  train  of  wagons  in  which  to  carry 
their  plunder.  Leaving  these  on  the  reservation  side 
of  the  river,  they  crossed  over  and  concealed  them 
selves  in  the  ravines  around  the  fort.  The  first  inti 
mation  to  the  garrison  of  the  presence  of  the  Indians 
was  the  appearance  of  about  twenty  warriors  on  the 
prairie,  who  began  waving  their  blankets  and  uttering 
shouts  of  derision  and  defiance.  This  was  done  for 
the  purpose  of  luring  the  whites  from  the  fort,  when 

*  A  species  of  willow,  the  bark  of  which  the  Indians  mix  with  to 
bacco  and  use  for  smoking. 


84  THE  SIOUX  WAR  AND   MASSACRE. 

a  rush  was  to  be  made  to  the  inside.  In  this  they 
failed ;  and  as  soon  as  it  became  apparent  that  this 
stratagem  would  not  succeed,  a  shower  of  bullets  rain 
ed  upon  the  fort  from  every  directipo.  The  ravines 
were  alive  with  men,  and  the  firing  w.as  accompanied 
by  hideous  shouts  and  yells.  The  attack  continued 
until  a  quarter  before  seven  o'clock  P.M.,  nearly  five 
hours,  and  was  most  determined,  bitter,  and  persistent. 

During  the  fight  the  Indians  went  into  the  govern 
ment  stables  and  let  loose  all  the  horses  and  mules. 
All  the  buildings  around  the  fort,  except  the  maga 
zine,  were  fired  by  the  assailants  or'  the  besieged. 
Fire-arrows  were  shot  upon,  the  roof  of  the  fort,  but 
went  out  without  accomplishing  their  design.  A 
number  of  Indians  posted  themselves  in  one  of  the 
stables  and  opened  fire.  Sergeant  Jones  skillfully 
exploded  a, shell  within  it,  and  set  the  building  on 
fire.  Just  as  the  shell  exploded,  Thomas  Robertson, 
a  half-breed,  by  direction  of  the  Indians,  was  engaged 
in  firing  upon  a  man  on  one  of  the  porches  of  the 
fort.  He  escaped  miraculously  without  injury.  Dur 
ing  the  fight  one  white  was  killed  and  seven  slight 
ly  wounded.  At  one  time  a  charging  party  was 
placed  near  the  fort,  and  Little  Crow  was  heard  urg 
ing  them  to  charge,  but  without  avail.  Lieutenants 
Shehan,  Gorman,  and  Whipple,  and  Sergeants  Jones 
and  M'Grew,  did  good  service  in  these  actions. 

Among  those  in  the  fort  were  the  Sioux  agent,  Mr. 
Galbraith,  and  Messrs.  Ramsey,  Hatch,  and  Wykoff, 
who  had  with  them  some  $72,000  in  coin  to  make 
the  payment.  They  had  reached  the  fort  with  it  on 
Monday,  the  first  day  of  the  outbreak. 

Fort  Ridgely  was  ill  adapted  for  defense,  and  a  de- 


ATTACKS   UPON  NEW  ULM  AND   FOET  EIDGELY.   85 

termined  charge  upon  it  would  have  resulted  in  its 
fall.  There  are  two  stone  buildings  placed  at  right 
angles,  in  the  shape  of  the  letter  "  L,"  and  on  each  side 
of  this  are  arranged  rows  of  wooden  buildings,  so  as  to 
form  two  squares.  It  is  situated  upon  the  spur  of  a 
bluff,  and  commanded  on  two  sides  by  ravines.  The 
ends  of  the  buildings  were  pierced  with  bullets,  which 
fell  into  the  rooms  in  showers. 

A  little  while  before  the  first  fight  Henry  Balland 
left  the  fort  to  obtain  a  horse  to  go  to  the  settlements. 
Before  he  could  return  the  Indians  had  surrounded 
the  place  and  made  it  impossible.  He  sprang  into 
the  bushes,  where  he  remained  concealed  for  several 
hours,  the  Indians  being  close  enough  to  him  for  their 
words  and  motions  to  be  noted.  Several  times  they 
nearly  stumbled  over  him.  While  the  attack  was 
progressing  a  heavy  storm  sprung  up,  and  Balland 
saw  some  one  hundred  Indians  come  close  up  to  where 
he  was  lying.  There  they  remained  some  time,  ranged 
along  in  a  single  line,  with  their  guns  under  their 
blankets  to  keep  them  dry. 

As  the  dusk  came  on,  guided  by  the  flashes  of  light 
ning,  he  wormed  his  way  cautiously  toward  the  river 
and  effected  his  escape.  When  about  thirty  miles  on 
his  journey,  he  met  a  soldier  who  said  he  was  going 
to  the  fort.  Balland  cautioned  him  against  it,  and 
told  him  how  it  was  surrounded  by  hundreds  of  In 
dians  ;  but  the  other  said  he  didn't  care,  that  he  would 
look  for  himself,  and  should  not  return  until  he  could 
say  he  had  seen  the  fort.  Balland  told  him  he  might 
see  it,  but  that  he  would  never  live  to  tell  of  it.  He 
rode  laughingly  on,  and  was  shot  close  to  the  fort  by 
Little  Crow's  brother.  Antoine  Frenier,  on  his  re- 


86  THE   SIOUX  WAR  AND  MASSACRE. 

turn  from  Yellow  Medicine,  passed  near  while  the  fight 
was  progressing,  and,  finding  it  impossible  to  enter, 
went  on  toward  Henderson.  He  also  met  at  Cum- 
mings's  Place,  below,  a  soldier,  who  also  continued  on 
to  the  fort  contrary  to  his  warning,  and  met  with  the 
fate  of  the  other. 

On  the  night  of  the  last  attack,  the  party  of  the  mis 
sionaries  Eiggs  and  Williamson  arrived  in  the  vicin 
ity,  and  Mr.  Hunter,  one  of  their  number,  crawled  in 
to  ascertain  the  condition  of  the  garrison.  He  was 
told  that  the  place  was  already  filled  with  fugitives, 
and  that  they  had  better  make  their  way  to  Hender 
son.  He  crept  cautiously  back,  and  communicated 
the  news  to  his  wearied  friends,  who  had  expected 
here,  without  doubt,  to  find  relief.  Bracing  up  their 
courage  as  well  as  they  could,  they  camped  until 
morning,  and,  strange  to  say,  passed  through  the  car 
nival  of  blood  that  was  raging  in  safety. 

Early  on  Saturday,  the  23d  instant,  the  Indians 
made  their  way  to  New  Ulm.  Since  Tuesday  no  at 
tack  had  been  made  upon  that  place,  and  the  time 
had  been  passed  in  strengthening  their  works,  bury- 
ing  their  dead,  and  in  scouting  through  the  surround 
ing  country.  Many  fugitives  were  thus  rescued.  At 
nine  o'clock  in  the  morning  a  series  of  fires  were  seen 
along  the  Fort  Ridgely  side  of  the  river,  commencing 
from  the  direction  of  the  fort,  and  rapidly  nearing 
New  Ulm.  The  anxious  inmates  of  the  town  knew 
that  these  arose  from  the  houses  along  the  road,  and 
indicated  the  approach  of  their  foes.  As  the  fires 
reached  opposite  the  town,  long  lines  of  Indians  were 
seen  coming  down  the  gullies  in  the  bluff,  near  the 
middle  ferry,  and  taking  positions. 


ATTACKS   UPON  NEW  ULM  AND  FOKT  KIDGELY.    89 

About  seventy-five  men  under  Captain  Huey,  of 
St.  Peter's,  at  the  request  of  citizens  who  owned  prop 
erty  on  the  other  shore,  had  volunteered,  before  the 
Indians  appeared,  to  check  their  depredations.  They 
crossed  at  the  upper  ferry  just  before  the  Indians 
came  in  sight.  They  soon  got  into  a  brisk  fight,  and 
lost  two  of  their  men.  Being  outnumbered  and  un 
able  to  return,  they  retreated  toward  St.  Peter's,  and  at 
Nicollet,  fourteen  miles  from  New  Ulm,  joined  Cap 
tain  Cox's  command  of  150  men,  who  were  on  their 
way  to  New  Ulm  from  St.  Peter's. 

Simultaneous  with  this  attack,  a  large  body  of  In 
dians,  variously  estimated  from  350  to  500,  made  their 
appearance  two  miles  and  a  half  above  the  town. 
Then  those  at  the  middle  ferry,  as  a  signal  for  the 
attack,  built  a  fire  which  gave  out  a  large  smoke, 
which  the  others  answered  in  like  manner,  and  then 
they  came  down  upon  the  town. 

Judge  Flandreau,  conceiving  that  a  battle  on  the 
open  prairie  would  be  more  advantageous  to  the 
whites,  posted  all  his  available  force,  numbering  some 
two  hundred  and  fifty  men,  on  the  open  field  outside 
the  town,  about  half  a  mile  distant  at  some  points,  and 
at  a  greater  distance  in  the  direction  toward  the  place 
where  he  conceived  the  first  attack  would  be  made. 

He  thus  describes  what  subsequently  occurred: 
"At  nearly  10  o'clock  AM.  the  body  of  Indians  began 
to  move  toward  us,  first  slowly,  and  then  with  con 
siderable  rapidity.  Their  advance  upon  th*e  sloping 
prairie  in  the  bright  sunlight  was  a  very  fine  specta 
cle,  and  to  such  inexperienced  soldiers  as  we  all  were, 
intensely  exciting.  When  within  about  one  mile  and 
a  half  of  us  the  mass  began  to  expand  like  a  fan,  and 


90  THE  SIOUX  WAR  AND   MASSACRE. 

increase  in  the  velocity  of  its  approach,  and  continued 
this  movement  until  within  about  double  rifle  shot, 
when  it  had  covered  our  entire  front. 

"Then  the  savages  uttered  a  terrific  yell,  and  came 
down  upon  us  like  the  wind.  I  had  stationed  myself 
at  a  point  in  the  rear  where  communications  could  be 
had  with  me  easily,  and  waited  the  first  discharge 
with  great  anxiety,  as  it  seemed  to  me  that  to  yield  was 
certain  destruction,  as  the  enemy  would  rush  into  the 
town  and  drive  all  before  them.  The  yell  unsettled 
the  men  a  little,  and  just  as  the  rifles  began  to  crack 
they  fell  back  along  the  whole  line,  and  committed 
the  error  of  passing  the  outer  houses  without  taking 
possession  of  them — a  mistake  which  the  Indians  im 
mediately  took  advantage  of  by  themselves  occupy 
ing  them  in  squads  of  two  and  three,  and  up  to  ten. 
They  poured  into  us  a  sharp  and  rapid  fire  as  we  fell 
back,  and  opened  from  houses  in  every  direction. 
Several  of  us  rode  up  the  hill,  endeavoring  to  rally  the 
men,  and  with  good  effect,  as  they  gave  three  cheers, 
and  sallied  out  of  various  houses  they  had  retreated 
to,  and  checked  the  advance  effectually.  The  firing 
from  both  sides  then  became  general,  sharp,  and  rapid ; 
and  it  got  to  be  a  regular  Indian  skirmish,  in  which 
every  man  did  his  own  work  after  his  own  fashion. 

"  The  Indians  had  spread  out  until  they  had  got 
into  our  rear  and  on  all  sides,  having  the  very  decided 
advantage  of  the  houses  on  the  bluff,  which  command 
ed  the  inferior  of  the  town  with  the  exception  of  the 
wind-mill,  which  was  occupied  by  about  twenty  of  the 
Le  Sueur  Tigers,  who  held  them  at  long  range. 

"  The  wind  was  from  the  lower  part  of  the  town ; 
and  this  fact  directed  the  larger  part  of  the  enemy  to 


ATTACKS   UPON  NEW  ULM  AND   FORT  RIDGELY.    91 

that  point,  where  they  promptly  commenced  firing  the 
houses  and  advancing  behind  the  smoke.  The  con 
flagration  became  general  in  the  lower  part  of  the 
town  on  both  sides  of  the  street,  and  the  bullets  flew 
very  thickly  both  from  the  bluff  and  up  the  street.  I 
thought  it  prudent  to  dismount  and  conduct  the  de 
fense  on  foot.  Just  at  this  point  Captain  Dodd,  of  St. 
Peter's,  and  some  one  else  whose  name  I  do  not  know, 
charged  down  the  street  to  ascertain  whether  some 
horsemen  seen  in  the  extreme  lower  town  were  not 
our  friends  coming  in,  and  were  met  about  three  blocks 
down  with  a  heavy  volley  from  behind  a  house,  five 
bullets  passing  through  Captain  Dodd's  body,  and  sev 
eral  through  that  of  his  horse.  The  horsemen  both 
turned,  and  the  captain  got  sufficiently  near  to  be  re 
ceived  by  his  friends  before  he  fell.  He  died  about 
five  hours  after  being  hit.  Too  much  can  not  be  said 
of  his  personal  bravery  and  general  desire  to  perform 
his  duty  manfully.  Captain  Saunders,  of  the  Le  Sueur 
company,  was  shot  through  his  body^  shortly  after,  and 
retired,  placing  his  rifle  in  effective  hands,  and  encour 
aging  the  men.  The  fight  was  going  on  all  around 
the  town  during  the  whole  forenoon  and  part  of  the 
afternoon,  sometimes  with  slight  advantage  to  us  and 
again  to  the  Indians ;  but  the  difficulty  which  stared 
us  in  the  face  was  their  gradual  but  certain  approach 
up  the  main  street  behind  the  burning  buildings, 
which  promised  our  destruction. 

"  We  frequently  sallied  out  and  took  buildings  in 
advance ;  but  the  risk  of  being  picked  off  from  the 
bluff  was  unequal  to  the  advantage  gained,  and  the 
duty  was  performed  with  some  reluctance  by  the  men. 
In  the  lower  part  of  the  town  I  had  some  of  the  best 


92  THE   SIOUX  WAR  AND   MASSACRE. 

men  in  the  state,  both  as  shots  and  for  coolness  and 
determination.  It  will  be  sufficient  to  mention  two 
as  types  of  the  class  of  the  best  fighting  men — Asa 
White  and  Newell  Horton,  known  to  all  old  settlers. 

"  They  did  very  effective  service  in  checking  the 
advance,  both  by  their  unerring  rifles  and  the  good 
example  their  steadiness  placed  before  the  younger 
men.  We  discovered  a  concentration  of  Indians  on 
the  side  of  the  street  toward  the  river  and  at  the  rear 
of  the  buildings,  and  expected  a  rush  upon  the  town 
from  that  position,  the  result  of  which  I  feared  more 
than  any  thing  else,  as  the  boys  had  proved  unequal 
to  it  in  the  morning ;  and  we  were  not  disappointed ; 
for  in  a  few  moments  they  came  on,  on  ponies  and  on 
foot,  furiously,  about  sixty  in  number,  charging  around 
the  point  of  a  little  grove  of  oaks. 

"  This  was  the  critical  point  of  the  day ;  but  four  or 
five  hours  under  fire  had  brought  the  boys  up  to  the 
fighting  temperature,  and  they  stood  firmly,  and  ad 
vanced  with  a  cheer,  routing  the  rascals  like  sheep. 
They  received  us  "with  a  very  hot  fire,  killing  Hough- 
ton  and  the  elderly  gentleman,  whose  name  I  did  not 
know.  As  they  fled  in  a  crowd,  at  a  very  short 
range,  we  gave  them  a  volley  that  was  very  effective, 
and  settled  the  fortunes  of  the  day  in  our  favor,  for 
they  did  not  dare  to  try  it  over.  I  think,  after  once 
repulsing  them  in  a  fair  fight,  we  could  have  success 
fully  resisted  them  had  they  returned  a  second  time, 
as  the  necessary  confidence  had  been  gained.  White 
men  fight  under  a  great  disadvantage  the  first  time 
they  engage.  There  is  something  so  fiendish  in  their 
yells,  and  terrifying  in  their  appearance  when  in  bat 
tle,  that  it  takes  a  good  deal  of  time  to  overcome  the 


ATTACKS   UPON  NEW  ULM  AND   FORT  RIDGELY.   93 

unpleasant  sensation  it  inspires.  There  is  a  snake- 
like  stealth  in  all  their  movements  that  excites  dis 
trust  and  uncertainty,  and  which  unsteadies  the  nerves 
at  first. 

"After  this  repulse  the  battle  raged  until  dark,  with 
out  sufficient  advantage  on  one  side  or  the  other  to 
merit  mention  in  detail,  when  the  savages  drew  off, 
firing  only  an  occasional  shot  from  under  close  cover. 
After  dark  we  decreased  the  extent  of  our  lines  of 
barricades ;  and  I  deemed  it  prudent  to  order  all  the 
buildings  outside  to  be  burned,  in  order  to  prevent 
them  from  affording  protection  to  the  savages  while 
they  advanced  to  annoy  us.  We  were  compelled  to 
consume  about  forty  valuable  buildings ;  but,  as  it  was 
a  military  necessity,  the  inhabitants  did  not  demur,  but 
themselves  applied  the  torch  cheerfully.  In  a  short 
time  we  had  a  fair  field  before  us  of  open  prairie, 
with  the  exception  of  a  large  brick  building,  which 
we  held,  and  had  loopholed  in  all  the  stories  on  all 
sides,  and  which  commanded  a  large  portion  of  our 
front  toward  the  bluff.  We  also  dug  a  system  of  ri 
fle-pits  on  that  front  outside  the  barricades,  about  four 
rods  apart,  which  completed  our  defenses. 

"  That  night  we  slept  very  little,  every  man  being 
at  the  barricades  all  night,  each  third  man  being  al 
lowed  to  sleep  at  intervals.  In  the  morning  the  at 
tack  was  renewed,  but  not  with  much  vigor,  and  sub 
sided  about  noon."* 

*  Judge  Charles  E.  Flandreau,  the  gallant  defender  of  New  Ulm, 
is  aged  about  thirty-five  years.  Pie  is  tall  of  stature,  and  as  lithe, 
sinewy,  and  active  as  an  Indian.  His  father,  who  is  now  deceased, 
was  an  eminent  lawyer  of  the  State  of  New  York,  and  once  a  partner 
of  the  celebrated  Aaron  Burr.  Judge  Flandreau  was  once  a  mid 
shipman  in  the  United  States  Navy,  but  abandoned  that  profession  for 


94:  THE   SIOUX  WAR  AND   MASSACRE. 

During  the  morning  Captain  E.  St.  Julien  Cox,  with 
one  hundred  and  forty-five  volunteers  from  Sibley  and 
Nicollet  counties,  arrived.  The  whites  lost  about  ten 
killed  and  fifty  wounded.  The  loss  of  the  Indians  in 
killed  and  wounded  was  also  considerable. 

During  the  fight  heavy  firing  was  kept  up  on  the 
whites  from  a  wood-pile,  and  an  Indian  observed 
standing  upon  it.  The  whites  fired  upon  him  until 
the  Indians  left,  but  he  kept  his  position  undisturbed. 
On  approaching,  he  was  found  to  be  dead  and  pierced 
with  bullets.  He  had  been  propped  up  there  to  draw 
our  fire.  A  half-breed  named  Le  Blanc  lay  in  the 
grass  as  our  men  advanced,  and  fired  and  wounded 
one  of  them.  He  rose  and  ran  partially  bent  over, 
but  a  bullet  sped  after  him,  and  cut  the  great  artery 
on  the  shoulder,  from  which  the  blood  spirted  in  a 
large  stream.  He  was  soon  finished,  his  head  cut  off 
and  scalped.  He  had  been  one  of  the  most  desperate 
of  the  foe.  The  savages  used  the  hill  for  their  hospi 
tal,  and  from  this  they  had  a  white  flag  flying  during 
the  fight.  On  Sunday  morning  one  of  their  number 
was  secreted  in  one  of  the  houses  close  to  the  whites, 
and  escaped  by  throwing  a  feather  bed  over  his  back, 
so  as  to  hide  his  body,  and  walking  leisurely  away. 
A  dozen  shots  could  have  been  fired  with  fatal  effect, 

the  study  of  law,  in  which  he  has  achieved  signal  success.  His  quick 
apprehension,  his  ready  application  of  principles  to  the  case  before 
him,  and  untiring  activity,  early  attracted  the  attention  of  the  public. 
He  has  been  Indian  Agent,  judge  of  the  Territorial  District  Court 
of  Minnesota,  member  of  the  State  Constitutional  Convention  and  of 
the  Senate,  and  now  holds  the  position  of  associate  justice  of  the  Su 
preme  Court.  At  the  first  intimation  of  the  outbreak  he  left  his  fam 
ily  and  repaired  to  the  defense  of  the  frontier,  where  he  remained  un 
til  relieved  by  the  regular  forces  several  weeks  afterward. 


ATTACKS   UPON  NEW   ULM  AND  FOKT  KIDGELY.   95 

but  all  supposed  he  was  a  white  man,  and  several  re 
marked,  "  What  a  fool  that  man  is,  to  expose  himself 
in  that  way."  When  he  got  out  of  range  he  threw 
the  bed  down,  and  danced  and  shouted  in  triumph. 


96  THE   SIOUX  WAR  AND  MASSACRE. 


CHAPTER  VI. 

FARTHER    OUTRAGES    DURING    THE    FIRST   WEEK    OF 
THE   OUTBREAK. 

SOME  of  the  individual  outrages  which  occurred  on 
Monday  were  detailed  in  the  fourth  chapter ;  but  while 
New  Ulm  and  Fort  Ridgely  were  attacked,  the  depre 
dations  extended  throughout  the  whole  western  fron 
tier  of  Minnesota,  and  into  Iowa  and  Dakota.  Dur 
ing  this  week  over  seven  hundred  people  perished, 
and  about  two  hundred  were  made  captive.  Ori 
Tuesday  two  Indians  killed  Mr.  Amos  W.  Huggins  at 
Lac  qui  Parle.  He  was  there  engaged  in  conducting 
a  school  for  their  children,  and  was  born  and  bred 
among  them.  Mr.  Galbraith  thus  speaks  of  him :  "Mr. 
Huggins  exercised  nothing  but  kindness  toward  the 
Indians.  He  fed  them  when  hungry,  clothed  them 
when  naked,  attended  them  when  sick,  and  advised 
and  cheered  them  in  all  their  difficulties.  He  was  in 
telligent,  industrious,  energetic,  and  good,  and  yet  he 
was  one  of  the  first  victims  of  the  outbreak,  shot  down 
like  a  dog  by  the  very  Indians  whom  he  had  so  long 
and  so  well  served."  His  wife  and  child,  and  a  Miss 
Julia  La  Fromboise,  also  a  teacher,  were  dragged  into 
captivity. 

Early  on  Wednesday,  Antoine  Freniere,  the  Sioux 
interpreter,  who  had  been  dispatched  from  Fort  Eidge 
ly  on  Tuesday,  by  the  agent  Galbraith,  to  ascertain 
the  condition  of  affairs  at  the  Yellow  Medicine  Agen- 


FARTHER  OUTRAGES  DURING  THE  OUTBREAK.  97 

cy,  where  tie  had  left  his  family,  went  into  a  house  a 
few  miles  below  the  agency  to  get  a  match  to  light 
his  pipe.  There  he  saw  seven  little  children,  the  eld 
est  not  over  eight  years  of  age,  Germans.  One  of 
them,  a  girl,  was  wounded  in  the  hand.  They  ap 
peared  to  be  stupid  and  unconscious  of  their  condi 
tion.  Freniere  asked  the  eldest  where  her  mother 
was,  and  she  pointed  out  of  doors  in  a  particular  direc 
tion.  He  went  out,  and,  passing  down  a  little  path  to 
ward  the  spot  indicated,  suddenly  came  upon  a  sight 
which  froze  his  veins  with  horror.  There,  closely 
grouped  together,  were  twenty  -  seven  dead  bodies, 
pierced  with  bullets,  and  hacked  with  knives  and 
hatchets,  pale  and  ghastly,  and  clotted  with  blood. 
The  only  living  creature  was  a  little  child  on  the 
breast  of  a  woman,  probably  its  mother,  vainly  seek 
ing  for  nourishment.  Terrified  by  the  sight,  knowing 
that  the  savages  were  close  around  him,  and  that  he 
could  not  save  the  children,  he  hastened  away,  leaving 
them  to  their  fate. 

On  the  same  day  they  began  murdering  at  Lake 
Shetek  and  Spirit  Lake,  in  Iowa,  and  also  in  the 
neighborhood  of  Forest  City,  one  hundred  and  twen 
ty  miles  apart. 

About  seven  o'clock  four  Indians  came  to  the  house 
of  a  farmer  named  Anderson,  residing  with  his  family 
thirty  miles  west  of  Forest  City,  on  Eagle  Lake.  They 
had  often  visited  there  before,  were  well  acquainted 
with  the  family,  and  had  received  many  favors  from 
them.  One  was  called  John,  and  could  talk  English 
a  little.  They  were  all' dressed  in  white  men's  clothes, 
wore  hats,  and  had  their  hair  cut  short.  Each  one 
carried  a  double-barreled  shot-gun.  When  they  came 

E 


98  THE  SIOUX  WAR  AND   MASSACRE. 

to  the  door  they  shook  hands  with  Anderson,  and  ask 
ed  for  some  milk  to  drink,  which  he  brought  them  in 
a  pan.  They  drank  it  and  handed  the  pan  back,  and 
he  set  it  down  and  passed  out  the  door.  Then  two 
of  the  Indians  fired  and  killed  him  instantly.  A  son 
of  Anderson  had  gone  into  the  garden  to  dig  potatoes 
for  the  Indians  at  their  request,  and  they  fired  and 
killed  him.  Another  son,  standing  in  the  door,  was 
wounded  in  the  shoulder  and  left  for  dead.  The 
mother,  with  her  little  child,  rushed  down  cellar  and 
escaped  notice.  A  daughter,  named  Julia,  ran  into 
the  high  grass  with  a  little  sister  aged  ten  years.  The 
Indians,  after  a  long  search,  discovered  them,  and,  plac 
ing  them  on  a  pony,  carried  them  west  a  mile  and  a 
half,  where  they  camped,  one  of  their  number  keeping 
watch  upon  the  captives  during  the  night.  Early  in 
the  morning  their  ponies  ran  away,  and  the  Indians 
started  in  pursuit.  Julia  and  her  sister  ran  into  the 
bush,  and  reached  Forest  City  two  days  afterward, 
"camping,"  to  use  her  own  words,  on  the  open  prairie 
at  night,  and  sucking  the  cows  for  sustenance. 

Four  other  Indians  on  the  way  pursued  and  dis 
charged  their  guns  at  them,  but  without  effect.  They 
escaped  these  by  again  getting  into  the  brush.  They 
saw  lying  dead  along  the  road  two  acquaintances 
named  Buckland  and  Peterson.  Both  had  their  heads 
cut  off.  All  the  skin  was  torn  from  Peterson's  face, 
and  many  long  gashes,  running  lengthwise,  were  cut 
into  his  body,  and  two  knives  inserted  in  his  stomach. 
"When  the  Indians  left  the  house,  the  mother,  carrying 
her  child,  went  to  Green  Lake,  ten  miles  distant,  ex 
pecting  to  find  assistance,  but  the  Indians  had  preceded 
her.  Two  days  afterward  she  returned  to  her  house, 


FARTHER  OUTRAGES  DURING  THE  OUTBREAK.  99 

and  found  the  wounded  son,  whom  she  had  left  for 
dead,  composedly  baking  bread. 

Attaching  the  ox-team  to  their  wagon,  the  three 
got  in,  and  went  to  a  Mr.  Foote's  house,  several  miles 
distant.  There  they  found  Foote  and  a  Norwegian, 
named  Erickson,  both  severely  wounded.  Placing 
these  in  their  wagon,  they  all  started  for  Forest  City, 
and  arrived  in  safety  on  Sunday  evening.  The  daugh 
ter,  Julia,  had  left  before,  and  did  not  know  of  their 
safety  for  a  week  afterward. 

The  Lake  Shetek  settlement  was  about  seventy 
miles  west  of  Mankato,  and  numbered  about  forty-five 
persons,  men,  women,  and  children.  They  were  at 
tacked  by  Lean  Bear  and  eight  of  his  men,  and  by 
the  bands  of  White  Lodge  and  Sleepy  Eyes.  Ten  or 
eleven  of  the  party  were  taken  captives,  about  twenty 
escaped,  mostly  severely  wounded,  and  about  fifteen 
were  killed.  Three  women  and  six  children  were 
shot  by  one  man,  who  was  the  recipient  of  frequent 
charities  from  the  hands  of  the  whites  whom  he  killed. 
Among  the  persons  killed  was  a  child  of  Mr.  Duly, 
four  and  a  half  years  old,  who  was  pounded  to  death 
by  a  squaw.  Among  those  who  escaped  was  the  fa 
ther,  Mr.  Duly ;  but,  before  he  did  so,  he  managed  to 
put  an  end  to  the  mortal  career  of  one  of  his  assailants 
— Lean  Bear. 

The  prisoners  were  carried  to  the  Missouri  Eiver, 
and  were  afterward  ransomed.  Among  the  number 
was  the  wife  and  two  children  of  Mr.  Duly,  Mrs. 
"Wright  and  child,  and  two  children  of  Mr.  Ireland, 
and  a  daughter  of  Mr.  Everett.  The  distance  is  esti 
mated  to  be  seven  hundred  and  fifty  miles  by  the 
route  which  they  traveled.  The  women  were  com- 


100  THE  SIOUX  WAR  AND  MASSACRE. 

polled  to  witness  the  murder  of  most  of  their  children. 
The  children  who  accompanied  them  are  believed  to 
be  the  only  survivors  of  their  respective  families,  with 
one  exception. 

One  of  the  lady  captives  was  severely  wounded  in 
the  foot  by  a  gunshot,  from  which  she  suffered  excru 
ciatingly.  She  was  enceinte  at  the  time ;  but,  notwith 
standing  her  delicate  condition,  had  the  dreadful  alter 
native  presented  to  her  of  submitting  to  the  vile  em 
braces  of  her  captors,  or  seeing  her  only  surviving 
child  brutally  murdered.  This  brutality  produced 
premature  labor;  but  even  this  did  not  relieve  her 
from  the  foul  treatment  to  which  she  was  continually 
subjected.  From  the  time  of  her  captivity  to  her  re 
lease  she  was  five  times  sold  to  different  Indians,  and 
has  often  been  compelled  to  submit  to  the  gratifica 
tion  of  their  brutal  passions. 

The  other  lady,  a  very  intelligent  and  respectable 
woman,  who,  at  the  time  of  her  capture,  had  an  infant 
several  months  old,  after  having  been  compelled  to 
submit  to  the  same  heartless  indignities  for  the  sake 
of  saving  the  life  of  her  infant,  had  it  wrested  from 
her  arms  and  its  brains  dashed  out  against  the  wagon 
she  was  driving.  She,  too,  was  changed  from  owner 
to  owner  in  the  same  manner  as  the  other,  and  forced 
to  submit  to  the  same  treatment. 

One  little  girl,  ten  years  old,  who  had  received  sev 
eral  wounds  at  the  hands  of  the  savages,  was  held 
prostrate  on  the  ground  by  four  of  her  captors,  and 
violated  by  more  than  twenty  young  men  of  the  tribe 
at  a  time.  This  treatment  was  kept  up  from  day  to 
day,  until  her  system  became  completely  prostrate, 
and  herself  well-nigh  lifeless. 


FARTHER  OUTRAGES   DURING  THE   OUTBREAK.    101 

Another  little  girl,  nine  years  of  age,  was  subject  to 
treatment  still  more  brutal.  In  consequence  of  her 
tender  years,  the  savages  resorted  to  horrid  mutilations 
of  her  person  to  enable  them  to  gratify  their  lustful 
desires.  It  is  improper  to  detail  publicly  all  the  cruel 
ties  to  which  they  were  subjected.  Imagination  can 
hardly  depict  the  enormities  perpetrated  upon  these 
poor  women.  While  suffering  these  barbarities,  their 
cries  are  represented  to  have  been  of  the  most  heart 
rending  character. 

At  the  time  the  little  girl  last  mentioned  was  sub 
ject  to  these  inhumanities,  she  was  suffering  from  the 
effects  of  a  compound  fracture  of  the  bones  both  above 
and  below  the  elbow,  produced  by  a  gunshot  wound, 
from  which  she  has  not  yet  recovered.  During  the 
massacre  in  Minnesota,  and  while  on  their  journey  to 
the  Missouri,  the  savage  practices  of  the  younger  In 
dians  far  surpassed  in  atrocity  that  of  the  older  mem 
bers  of  the  tribe.  Neither  age,  condition,  nor  sex 
among  them  were  exempt  from  participation  in  these 
cruelties.  The  practice  of  shooting  arrows  into  de 
fenseless  women  and  children  constituted  their  favor 
ite  amusement.* 

The  meeting  between  Mr.  Everett  and  his  little 
daughter,  many  weary  months  afterward, ,  was  most 
affecting.  His  wife  had  been  murdered,  a  son  four 
years  old  had  been  killed  before  his  eyes,  and  another, 
still  younger,  was  alive  when  last  seen.  He  himself 
was  then  suffering  from  his  wounds.  Out  of  this  once 
happy  family  father  and  child  alone  remained.  An 
eye-witness  of  their  reunion  says :  "  The  child  took 
the  hand  of  her  father,  and  he  pressed  her  to  his  bo- 
*  See  "Mankato  Record"  and  "Washington  Republican." 


102  THE   SIOUX  WAR  AND   MASSACRE. 

som,  but  not  a  word  was  spoken  by  either.  The  joy 
of  meeting  the  sole  remnant  of  his  family  was  so  sad 
dened  by  the  recollection — so  vividly  forced  upon  his 
mind  by  the  presence  of  his  child — of  the  fate  of  his 
dearly -loved  wife  and  darling  boys,  that  the  strong 
man  was  overcome  with  emotion.  He  wept  like  a 
child.  He  asked  his  daughter  about  her  little  brother 
two  years  old,  of  whom  the  father  had  heard  no  ti 
dings.  She  replied  .that  when  she  saw  him  last  he 
was  crawling  into  the  bushes  to  hide  himself  from  the 
savages.  He  probably  escaped  the  tomahawk  of  the 
Indian  only  to  die  of  starvation  in  the  thickets  of 
Lake  Shetek." 

At  the  Lake  Shetek  settlement  also  lived  Mrs. 
Phineas  B.  Hurd.  She  was  born  in  Western  New 
York,  passed  her  childhood  in  Steuben  County  in  that 
state,  where  she  was  married  in  1857,  and  emigrated 
to  La  Crosse,  Wisconsin.  Here  she  and  her  husband 
remained  about  two  years,  and  from  there  removed  to 
the  neighborhood  of  St.  Peter's  with  the  intention  of 
settlement,  but  finally  joined  in  the  emigration  still 
farther  westward,  and  settled  at  Lake  Shetek,  where 
she  resided  three  years. 

On  the  2d  of  June  last,  Mr.  Hurd,  with  another  man, 
left  home  on  a  trip  to  Dacota  Territory,  to  be  absent 
a  month,  taking  a  span  of  horses  and  wagon,  and  such 
other  outfit  as  would  be  required  upon  such  an  expe 
dition,  thus  leaving  Mrs.  Hurd  alone  with  her  two  chil 
dren  and  a  Mr.Voigt,  who  had  charge  of  the  farm. 
On  the  morning  of  the  20th  of  August,  about  five 
o'clock,  while  Mrs.  Hurd  was  milking,  some  twenty 
Indians  rode  up  to  the  house  and  dismounted.  She 
discovered  among  the  horses  one  of  their  own  that  was 


FARTHER  OUTRAGES  DURING  THE  OUTBREAK.  103 

taken  away  by  Mr.  Hurd.  She  got  into  the  house  be 
fore  the  Indians,  who  entered  and  began  smoking,  as 
was  their  custom.  Five  of  these  men  she  knew,  one 
being  a  half-breed  that  could  speak  English.  Her  chil 
dren  were  in  bed,  and  at  the  time  of  the  entrance  of 
the  Indians  asleep.  The  youngest,  about  a  year  old, 
awoke  and  cried,  when  Mr.  Voigt  took  it  up  and  car 
ried  it  into  the  front  yard,  when  one  of  the  Indians 
stepped  to  the  door  and  shot  him  through  the  body. 
He  fell  dead  with  the  child  in  his  arms.  At  this  sig 
nal  some  ten  or  fifteen  more  Indians  and  squaws  rush 
ed  into  the  house,  they  having  been  concealed  near 
by,  and  commenced  an  indiscriminate  destruction  of 
every  thing  in  the  house,  breaking  open  trunks,  de 
stroying  furniture,  cutting  open  feather-beds,  and  scat 
tering  the  contents  about  the  house  and  yard.  Mrs. 
Hurd,  in  her  uncommon  energy  and  industry  as  a  pi 
oneer  housewife,  had,  with  a  good  stock  of  cows,  be 
gun  to  make  butter  and  cheese  even  in  this  new  coun 
try,  and  had  on  hand  at  the  time  two  hundred  pounds 
of  butter  and  twenty-three  cheeses.  These  the  Indians 
threw  out  into  the  yard  and  destroyed.  While  this 
destruction  was  going  on,  Mrs.  Hurd  was  told  that  her 
life  would  be  spared  on  condition  that  she  would  give 
no  alarm,  and  leave  the  settlement  by  an  unfrequent 
ed  path  or  trail  leading  directly  east  across  the  prairie, 
in  the  direction  of  JSTew  Ulm,  and  was  ordered  to  take 
her  children  and  commence  her  march.  Upon  plead 
ing  for  her  children's  clothes,  she  was  hurried  off,  be 
ing  refused  even  her  sun-bonnet  or  shawl.  She  took 
her  youngest  in  her  arms  and  led  the  other,  a  little 
boy  of  about  three  years,  by  the  hand,  and,  being  es 
corted  by  seven  Indians  on  horseback,  she  turned  her 


104  THE   SIOUX  WAR  AND  MASSACRE. 

back  on  her  once  prosperous  and  happy  home.  The 
distance  across  the  prairie  in  the  direction  which  she 
was  sent  was  sixty  or  seventy  miles  to  a  habitation. 
The  Indians  went  with  her  three  miles,  and  before 
taking  leave  of  her  repeated  the  condition  of  her  re 
lease,  and  she  was  told  that  the  whites  were  all  to  be 
killed,  but  that  she  might  go  to  her  mother.  Thus  she 
was  left  with  her  two  children  almost  naked,  herself 
bareheaded,  without  food  or  raiment,  not  even  a  blank 
et  to  shelter  her  and  her  children  from  the  cold  dews 
of  the  night  or  the  storm. 

After  the  Indians  left  her,  three  miles  from  her 
home,  on  the  prairie,  "  we  took  our  way,"  said  Mrs. 
Hurd,  "  through  the  unfrequented  road  or  trail  into 
which  the  Indians  had  conducted  us.  It  was  clear, 
and  the  sun  shone  with  more  than  usual  brightness. 
The  dew  on  the  grass  was  heavy.  My  little  boy,  "Wil 
liam  Henry,  being  barefooted  and  thinly  clad,  shiver 
ed  with  the  cold,  and,  pressing  close  to  me,  entreated 
me  to  return  to  our  home.  He  did  not  know  of  the 
death  of  Mr.  Yoigt,  as  I  kept  him  from  the  sight  of  the 
corpse.  He  could  not  understand  why  I  insisted  upon 
going  on,  enduring  the  pain  and  cold  of  so  cheerless  a 
morning.  He  cried  pitifully  at  first,  but,  after  a  time, 
pressing  my  hand,  he  trudged  manfully  along  by  my 
side.  The  little  one  rested  in  my  arms  unconscious 
of  our  situation.  Two  guns  were  fired  when  I  was  a 
short  distance  out,  which  told  the  death  of  my  neigh 
bor,  Mr.  Cook.  I  well  knew  its  fearful  meaning.  There 
was  death  behind,  and  all  the  horrors  of  starvation  be 
fore  me.  But  there  was  no  alternative.  For  my  chil 
dren,  any  thing  but  death  at  the  hands  of  the  merci 
less  savage;  even  starvation  on  the  prairies  seemed 
preferable  to  this. 


FARTHER  OUTRAGES  DURING  THE  OUTBREAK.   105 

"About  ten   o'clock  in  the  forenoon   a  thunder 
storm  suddenly  arose.     It  was  of  unusual  violence; 
the  wind  was  not  high,  but  the  lightning,  thunder, 
and  rain  were  most  terrible.     The  violence  of  the 
storm  was  expended  in  about  three  hours,  but  the  rain 
continued  to  fall  slowly  until  night,  and  at  intervals 
continued  until  morning.     During  the  storm  I  lost 
the  trail,  and  walked  on,  not  knowing  whether  I  was 
right  or  wrong.     Water  covered  the  lower  portions 
of  the  prairie,  and  it  was  with  difficulty  I  could  find  a 
place  to  rest  when  night  came  on.     At  last  I  came  to 
a  sand-hill  or  knoll ;  on  the  top  of  this  I  sat  down  to 
rest  for  the  night.     I  laid  my  children  down,  and 
leaned  over  them  to  protect  them  from  the  rain  and 
chilling  blast.     Hftngry,  weary,  and  wet,  William  fell 
asleep,  and  continued  so  until  morning.    The  younger 
one  worried  much ;  the  night  wore  away  slowly,  and 
the  morning  at  last  came,  inviting  us  to  renewed  ef 
forts.     As  soon  as  I  could  see,  I  took  my  little  ones 
and  moved  on.     About  seven  o'clock  I  heard  guns, 
and  for  the  first  time  became  conscious  that  I  had  lost 
my  way  and  was  still  in  the  vicinity  of  the  lake.     I 
changed  my  course,  avoiding  the  direction  in  which  I 
heard  the  guns,  and  pressed  on  with  increased  energy. 
No  trail  was  visible.     As  for  myself,  I  was  not  con 
scious  of  hunger ;  but  it  was  harassing  to  a  mother's 
heart  to  listen  to  the  cries  of  my  precious  boy  for  his 
usual  beverage  of  milk,  and  his  constant  complaints 
of  hunger ;  but  there  was  no  remedy.    The  entire  day 
was  misty  and  the  grass  wet.     Our  clothes  were  not 
dry  during  the  day.     Toward  night  William  grew 
sick,  and  vomited  until  it  seemed  impossible  for  him 
longer  to  keep  up.     The  youngest  still  nursed,  and 
E  2 


106  THE   SIOUX  WAR  AND  MASSACEE. 

did  not  seem  to  suffer  materially.  About  dark  on 
the  second  day  I  struck  a  road,  and  knew  at  once 
where  I  was,  and  to  my  horror  found  I  was  only  four 
miles  from  home.  Thus  had  two  days  and  one  night 
been  passed,  traveling,  probably,  in  a  circle.  I  felt  al 
most  exhausted,  and  my  journey  but  just  began ;  but, 
discouraging  as  this  misfortune  might  be,  as  the  shades 
of  night  again  closed  around  me,  the  sight  of  a  known 
object  was  a  pleasure  to  me.  I  was  no  longer  lost 
upon  the  vast  prairie. 

"It  was  now  that  I  felt  for  the  first  time  it  would 
be  better  to  die  at  once ;  that  it  would  be  a  satisfac 
tion  to  die  here,  and  end  our  weary  journey  on  this 
traveled  road  over  which  we  had  passed  in  our  hap 
pier  days.  I  could  not  bear  to  lie  'down  with  my  lit 
tle  ones  on  the  unknown  and  trackless  waste  over 
which  we  had  been  wandering.  But  this  feeling  was 
but  for  a  moment.  I  took  courage  and  started  on  the 
road  to  New  Ulm.  When  it  became  quite  dark  I 
halted  for  the  night ;  that  night  I  passed  as  before, 
without  sleep.  In  the  morning  early  I  started  on. 
It  was  foggy  and  the  grass  wet ;  the  road,  being  but 
little  traveled,  was  grown  up  with  grass.  William 
was  so  sick  this  morning  that  he  could  not  walk  much 
of  the  time,  so  I  was  obliged  to  carry  both.  I  was 
now  sensibly  reduced  in  strength,  and  felt  approach 
ing  hunger.  My  boy  no  longer  asked  for  food,  but 
was  thirsty,  and  drank  frequently  from  the  pools  by 
the  wayside.  I  could  no  longer  carry  both  my  chil 
dren  at  the  same  time,  but  took  one  at  a  distance  of  a 
quarter  or  half  a  mile,  laid  it  in  the  grass,  and  return 
ed  for  the  other ;  in  this  way  I  traveled  twelve  miles, 
to  a  place  called  Dutch  Charlie's,  sixteen  miles  from 


FARTHER  OUTRAGES  DURING  THE  OUTBREAK.  107 

Lake  Shetek.  I  arrived  there  about  sunset,  having 
been  sustained  in  my  weary  journey  by  the  sweet 
hope  of  relief.  My  toils  seemed  about  at  an  end ;  but 
what  was  my  consternation  and  despair  when  I  found 
it  empty  I  Every  article  of  food  or  clothing  removed ! 
My  heart  seemed  to  die  within  me,  and  I  sunk  down 
in  despair.  The  cries  of  my  child  aroused  me  from 
my  almost  unconscious  state,  and  I  began  my  search 
for  food.  The  house  had  not  been  plundered  by  the 
Indians,  but  abandoned  by  its  owner.  I  had  prom 
ised  my  boy  food  when  we  arrived  here,  and  when 
none  could  be  found  he  cried  most  bitterly.  But  I 
did  not  shed  a  tear,  nor  am  I  conscious  of  having  done 
so  during  all  this  journey.  I  found  some  carrots  and 
onions  growing  in  the  garden,  which  I  ate  raw,  hav 
ing  no  fire.  My  eldest  child  continued  vomiting.  I 
offered  him  some  carrot,  but  he  could  not  eat  it.  That 
night  we  staid  in  a  cornfield,  and  the  next  morning 
at  daylight  I  renewed  my  search  for  food.  To  my 
great  joy,  I  found  the  remains  of  a  spoiled  ham.  Here, 
I  may  say,  my  good  fortune  began.  There  was  not 
more  than  a  pound  of  it,  and  that  much  decayed. 
This  I  saved  for  my  boy,  feeding  it  to  him  in  very 
small  quantities ;  his  vomiting  ceased,  and  he  revived 
rapidly.  I  gathered  more  carrots  and  onions,  and 
with  this  store  of  provisions,  at  about  eight  o'clock 
on  the  morning  of  the  third  day,  I  again  set  forth  on 
my  weary  road  for  the  residence  of  Mr.  Brown,  twen 
ty-five  miles  distant.  This  distance  I  reached  in  two 
days.  Under  the  effects  of  the  food  I  was  able  to  give 
my  boy,  he  gained  strength,  and  was  able  to  walk  all 
of  the  last  day.  When  within  about  three  miles  of 
the  residence  of  Mr.  Brown,  two  of  our  neighbors  from 


108  THE   SIOUX  WAR  AND   MASSACRE. 

Lake  Shetek  settlement  overtook  us,  under  the  escort 
of  the  mail-carrier.  Both  of  them  had  been  wounded 
by  the  Indians  and  left  for  dead  in  the  attack  on  the 
settlement.  Thomas  Ireland,  one  of  the  party,  had 
been  hit  with  eight  balls,  and,  strange  to  say,  was  still 
able  to  walk,  and  had  done  so  most  of  the  way.  Mrs. 
Estlick,  the  other  person  under  escort,  was  utterly  un 
able  to  walk,  having  been  shot  in  the  foot,  once  in  the 
side,  and  once  in  the  arm.  Her  husband  had  been 
killed,  and  her  son,  about  ten  years  old,  wounded. 
The  mail-carrier  had  overtaken  this  party  after  the 
fight  with  the  Indians  at  the  lake,  and,  placing  Mrs. 
Estlick  in  his  sulky,  he  was  leading  his  horse. 

"As  the  little  party  came  in  sight  I  took  them  to 
be  Indians,  and  felt  that  after  all  my  toil  and  suffering 
I  must  die,  with  my  children,  by  the  hand  of  the  sav 
age.  I  feared  to  look  around,  but  kept  on  my  way 
until  overtaken.  This  was  a  little  before  sunset,  and 
we  all  arrived  at  the  residence  of  Mr.  Brown  that 
night.  This  house  was  also  deserted  and  empty,  but, 
being  fastened  up,  we  thought  they  might  come  back. 
Our  company  being  too  weak  and  destitute  to  proceed, 
we  took  possession  of  the  house  and  remained  ten  days. 
There  we  found  potatoes  and  green  corn.  The  mail- 
carrier,  accompanied  by  Mr.  Ireland,  lame  as  he  was, 
proceeded  on  the  next  morning  to  New  Ulm,  where 
they  found  there  had  been  a  battle  with  the  Indians, 
and  one  hundred  and  ninety-two  houses  burned.  A 
party  of  twelve  men  were  immediately  sent  with  a 
wagon  to  our  relief.  It  was  now  that  we  learned  the 
fate  of  Mr.  Brown  and  family — all  had  been  murder 
ed!  We  also  learned  of  the  general  outbreak  and 
massacre  of  all  the  more  remote  settlements ;  and  the 


FARTHER  OUTRAGES  DURING  THE  OUTBREAK.  109 

sad,  sickening  thought  was  now  fully  confirmed  in  my 
mind  that  my  husband  was  dead — my  fatherless  chil 
dren  and  myself  made  beggars." 

She  has  been  dealt  kindly  with,  and  will  probably 
be  paid  for  loss  of  property ;  but  what  can  bring  back 
to  her  the  murdered  husband,  the  beauty,  loveliness, 
and  enjoyment  that  surrounded  her  on  the  morning 
of  the  20th  of  August,  1862,  or  blot  from  her  memory 
those  awful  dreary  nights  of  watching  alone  upon  the 
broad  prairie,  in  the  storm  and  in  the  tempest,  amid 
thunderings  and  lightnings?  Or  who  can  comtem- 
plate  that  mother's  feelings  as  her  sick  and  helpless 
child  cried  for  bread,  and  there  was  none  to  give,  or 
as  she  bore  the  one  along  the  almost  trackless  waste 
and  laid  it  down  amid  the  prairie  grass,  and  then  re 
turned  for  her  other  offspring  ? 

The  Mantuan  bard  has  touched  a  universal  chord 
of  human  sympathy  in  his  deep-toned  description  of 
the  flight  of  his  hero  from  the  burning  city  of  Troy, 
bearing  his  "  good  father"  Anchises  on  his  back,  and 
leading  "  the  little  Ascanius"  by  the  hand,  who,  ever 
and  anon  falling  in  the  rear,  would  "follow  with  une 
qual  step."  The  heroine  of  Lake  Shetek  bore  her 
two  Ascanii  in  her  arms ;  but,  unequal  to  the  double 
burden,  was  compelled  to  deposit  half  her  precious 
cargo  in  the  prairie  grass,  and,  returning  for  the  other, 
to  repeat  for  the  third  time  her  painful  steps  over  the 
same.  This  process,  repeated  at  the  end  of  each  half 
or  quarter  of  a  mile,  extended  the  fearful  duration  of 
her  terrible  flight  through  the  lonely  and  uninhabited 
prairie. 

The  force  of  nature  could  go  no  farther,  and  mater 
nal  love  has  no  stronger  exemplification.     But  for  the 


110 


THE   SIOUX  WAR  AND   MASSACRE. 


plentiful  showers  of  refreshing  rain,  sent  by  a  merciful 
Providence,  these  poor  wanderers  would  have  fainted 
by  the  way,  and  the  touching  story  of  the  heroine  of 
Shetek  would  have  been  forever  shrouded  in  mys- 
toy* 

Mrs.  Estlick's  son  Burton,  not  ten  years  of  age,  and 
his  little  brother,  aged  five  years,  having  become  sep- 



ilKB.  E8T1.10K   AND    (JUILDliEJS. 


arated  from  their  mother,  arrived  safely  at  the  settle 
ments  days  after  the  attack.  Burton  alternately  led 
and  carried  the  little  fellow  a  distance  of  eighty  miles. 

*  Correspondence  of  the  Davenport  Gazette. 


FARTHER  OUTRAGES  DURING  THE  OUTBREAK.  Ill 

Such  instances  of  heroic  fortitude  were  not  common. 
Many  strong,  burly  men  basely  deserted  their  friends 
to  save  their  own  lives.  Many  were  armed  and  did 
not  fire  a  shot,  so  paralyzed  were  they  by  terror.  Not 
over  three  Indians  fell  except  in  battle. 

Five  persons  were  burning  charcoal  for  the  depart 
ment  on  Big  Stone  Lake,  at  the  upper  extremity  of 
the  reservation,  on  Thursday.  They  had  their  tents 
pitched  on  the  edge  of  a  ravine  near  some  woods. 
Toward  morning  they  heard  several  war-whoops,  and 
rushed  out  to  see  what  was  the  matter,  when  fifty  or 
sixty  Indians,  some  on  foot  and  some  on  horseback, 
surrounded  them,  and  when  they  got  within  ten  paces 
fired  and  killed  all  but  one — Anthony  Menderfield. 
He  plunged  in  the  ravine  and  made  his  escape  amid 
a  shower  of  bullets.  He  saw  Mrs.  Huggins  and  Miss 
La  Framboise  at  Lac  qui  Parle. 

On  Saturday  they  massacred  settlers  and  commit 
ted  depredations  in  the  Norwegian  Grove  settlements 
back  of  Henderson.  There  they  committed  one  of 
their  grossest  outrages.  Stripping  a  captive  naked, 
they  fastened  her  arms  and  legs  to  the  ground  by  ty 
ing  them  to  stakes.  Then  a  dozen  of  them  ravished 
her  ;  and  while  she  was  almost  fainting  with  exhaus 
tion,  they  sharpened  a  rail  and  drove  it  into  her  per 
son.  This  soon  ended  her  life  with  the  most  horrible 
of  tortures.  On  the  same  day,  while  the  second  bat 
tle  at  New  Ulm  was  progressing,  the  Upper  Sissetons 
commenced  their  ravages  in  the  valley  of  the  Eed 
Eiver  of  the  North,  murdering  several  persons  at 
Breckinridge,  and  threatening  Fort  Abercrombie. 

Tens  of  thousands  of  acres  of  crops,  the  fruits  of 
hardy  labor,  into  which  the  sickle  had  just  been  put, 


112  THE  SIOUX  WAK  AND  MASSACKE. 

were  abandoned  to  destruction.  Cattle,  wantonly  shot 
down,  lay  rotting  upon  the  prairies  beside  their  own 
ers  ;  others  roamed,  scared  and  wild,  through  the  cul 
tivated  fields.  From  Fort  Abercrombie  to  the  Iowa 
line,  a  frontage  of  two  hundred  miles,  and  extending 
inwardly  from  Big  Stone  Lake  to  Forest  City,  an  area 
of  over  twenty  thousand  square  miles,  the  torch  and 
the  tomahawk  asserted  themselves  supreme.  Here 
and  there  armed  parties  from  the  interior  settlements 
ventured  a  little  distance  forth  for  the  burial  of  the 
dead,  and  to  watch  the  movements  of  the  foe ;  but, 
with  this  exception,  in  this  vast  district  there  was  no 
white  person  save  the  flying  fugitive,  hiding  himself 
by  day,  and  shivering  with  affright  at  every  sound 
and  at  every  shadow  that  fell  upon  the  grass. 

The  news  of  the  first  murders  at  Acton,  on  Sunday, 
and  of  the  outbreak  at  Bed- Wood,  on  Monday,  reach 
ed  St.  Paul  on  Tuesday,  the  messengers  notifying  all 
the  settlements  through  which  they  passed.  It  spread 
quickly  throughout  the  country.  Not  credited  at 
first,  fearful  confirmation  was  received  in  every  pass 
ing  hour.  The  frightened  fugitives  poured  into  the 
towns  by  thousands ;  large  numbers  of  them  crowd 
ing  even  to  St.  Paul,  Hastings,  and  Winona,  and  many 
of  them  not  stopping  until  they  had  left  the  state  far 
behind  them. 

St.  Peter's,  Mankato,  Henderson,  St.  Cloud,  Forest 
City,  and  Glencoe,  and  all  the  towns  along  the  imme 
diate  frontier,  were  jammed  with  the  sufferers.  On 
every  street  corner  they  bared  their  wounds  and  told 
their  piteous  tales. 

The  uncertainty  of  the  number  of  the  hostile  Sioux, 
and  the  probability  that  the  Winnebagoes  and  the 


FARTHER  OUTRAGES  DURING  THE  OUTBREAK.  113 

Chippeways  were  involved  with  them,  increased  the 
public  excitement.  A  number  of  the  Winnebagoes, 
it  will  be  recollected,  were  at  Eed-Wood  when  the 
outbreak  commenced ;  and  several  of  these  were  ar 
rested  on  Tuesday  on  their  way  to  their  own  reserva 
tion,  who  said  their  guns  were  loaded  with  shot,  but 
which  proved  to  be  balls.  The  Chippeways  on  the 
same  day  commenced  plundering  the  government 
property  at  their  agency  on  the  Upper  Mississippi,  and 
taking  captives,  and  assembling  their  warriors  at  Grull 
Lake,  twenty  miles  north  of  Fort  Eipley,  and  sending 
their  families  to  points  remote  from  danger.  Myste 
rious  messages  had  been  passing  between  their  res 
ervations  in  Wisconsin,  Minnesota,  and  Michigan  dur 
ing  the  previous  year,  and  it  was  known  that  they 
complained  of  the  same  class  of  grievances  as  the  Si 
oux.  Hole-in-the-Day,  a  wise,  brave,  and  distinguish 
ed  chief,  openly  advocated  a  junction  with  the  Sioux, 
and  he  himself  had  a  personal  encounter  with  the 
whites,  in  which  shots  were  exchanged.  He  urged  an 
exterminating  war  in  the  councils  of  his  people,  and 
only  waited  for  the  arrival  of  warriors  from  Leech 
Lake  to  attack  Fort  Eipley.  Commissioner  Dole,  who 
had  progressed  as  far  as  St.  Cloud  on  his  way  to  the 
Eed  Eiver  of  the  North  to  form  a  treaty  with  the  Eed 
Lake  Chippeways,  returned,  and  Walker,  the  agent 
for  the  Chippeways  at  Crow- Wing,  fled  from  the 
agency,  and,  the  troubles  so  weighing  upon  his  mind 
as  to  produce  insanity,  committed  suicide  near  Monti- 
cello  on  the  day  of  the  second  attack  on  New  Ulm. 

Eumor  magnified  the  danger ;  but  the  reasonable 
ness  of  apprehension  will  be  apparent  when  it  is  con 
sidered  that  the  Winnebagoes,  who  had  four  hundred 


114  THE  SIOUX  WAK  AND  MASSACEE. 


warriors,  were  witliin  a  few  miles  of  the  large  town 
of  Mankato,  which  was  surrounded  by  woods,  from 
which  an  attack  with  impunity  could  be  made ;  and 
that  the  Chippeways,  who  muster  four  thousand  war 
riors,  were  many  of  them  within  two  days'  march  of 


FARTHER  OUTRAGES  DURING  THE   OUTBREAK.    115 

St.  Paul,  and  that  their  country  abounded  in  morasses 
and  swamps  as  inaccessible  as  those  into  which  the 
Seminoles  retreated  during  the  Florida  war. 

Thus  but  faintly  seen  in  the  outline  were  the  first 
week's  ravages  of  that  fierce  hurricane  that  strode 
forth  with  the  suddenness  of  thought  from  the  deep, 
luxuriant  peace  of  the  glorious  August,  desolating  the 
happy  fields,  and  filling  the  broad  land  with  louder 
lamentations  than  were  heard  in  Bethlehem  "  when 
Herod's  sword  swept  its  nurseries  of  innocents." 

No  tongue  touched  with  fire — no  master  hand  with 
tragic  colorings  of  black  and  of  red,  could  adequately 
portray  the  horrid  sublimities  of  the  sorrow-stricken 
plains — the  smoking  ruins  of  happy  homes  planted  in 
the  wilds  with  laborious  care,  and  blossoming  round 
with  carefully-tended  flowers — the  perishing  harvests, 
the  reaper  lying  dead  in  the  swath,  with  his  sickle  in 
his  hand — the  wild  and  startled  ox  trampling  out  the 
fruit  of  his  labors,  and  inquiring,  with  raised  head 
and  staring  eyes,  the  meaning  of  this  midnight  that 
had  rushed  upon  the  realm  of  noon — the  dogs  "moan 
ing  for  vanished  faces"  around  deserted  roof -trees, 
some  gone  mad  with  despair — the  swollen  bodies  of 
the  dead  cattle,  huge  and  strange  as  those  of  some  an 
tediluvian  world — the  heaps  of  the  untimely  slain, 
their  headless  corpses  festering  and  rotting  in  the  heat, 
the  hogs  rooting  in  the  clustering  hair  and  feeding 
on  the  gentle  cheek,  and  all  deserted  by  the  retreat 
ing,  palpitating  border  "where  the  fierce  hurry  of 
flight  and  pursuit  ceases  not  by  day  or  by  night." 

Only  the  sufferer — only  he  who  has  been  stricken 
with  as  hopeless  a  despair  as  that  which  blanched  the 
face  of  the  last  survivor  of  the  Deluge,  as  he  stood  on 


116  THE   SIOUX  WAR  AND   MASSACRE. 

some  lone  mountain  peak,  and  the  hungry  waters 
mounted  to  his  lip;  only  he  whose  home  has  been 
consumed,  his  wife  dishonored  before  his  eyes,  and  the 
arms  of  his  child  unlinked  forever  from  his  neck,  and 
heard  the  dull  thud  of  the  tomahawk  as  it  sunk  into 
their  brains ;  only  he  who  has  been  wounded  unto 
death,  and  in  his  concealment  felt  upon  his  cheek  the 
hot  breath  of  his  foe — only  he  can  adequately  appre 
ciate  the  horrors  of  the  fiendish  protest  of  the  savage 
Sioux  against  Civilization's  irresistible  march. 


FORCES  DISPATCHED  TO  THE   FRONTIER.       117 


CHAPTER  VII. 

FORCES  DISPATCHED  TO  THE   FRONTIER. 

WHILE  the  effect  of  the  sorrows  and  troubles  caused 
by  these  raids  were  increased  by  their  supervening 
upon  those  growing  out  of  the  gigantic  civil  war  in 
which  the  country  was  plunged,  yet  in  the  existence 
of  that  war  there  was  compensation.  Had  the  diffi 
culty  arisen  in  a  time  of  peace,  weeks  would  have 
elapsed  before  troops  could  have  been  raised,  or  am 
munition  and  arms  furnished ;  and  the  absence  of  op 
position  would  have  widened  the  area  of  devastation, 
and  have  added  the  Winnebagoes  and  the  Chippe- 
ways  to  the  ranks  of  the  destroyers.  But  now,  under 
the  recent  call  of  the  President  for  volunteers,  there 
were  in  the  state  several  thousand  men  organized  into 
regiments,  and  partially  armed.  These  were  at  once 
hurried  toward  the  frontier.  Mounted  volunteers 
were  also  called  out  by  proclamation  of  the  governor 
to  join  in  pursuit  of  the  foe.  Officers  in  command, 
and  the  sheriffs  of  different  counties,  were  authorized 
to  impress  horses  and  teams,  and  whatever  else  was 
judged  necessary  in  the  emergency. 

Upon  the  receipt  of  the  news  on  Tuesday,  Govern 
or  Eamsey  hastened  to  Mendota,  and  requested  the 
Hon.  H.  H.  Sibley  to  take  command,  with  the  rank  of 
colonel,  of  an  expedition  to  move  up  the  Minnesota 
Valley.  He  at  once  accepted  the  position,  to  which  he 
was  peculiarly  fitted  by  reason  of  his  long  residence 


p 

118  THE   SIOUX  WAR,  AND  MASSACRE. 

among  the  Indians  and  his  sound  judgment,  and  the 
next  morning  started  with  four  companies  of  the 
6th  regiment  for  St.  Peter's,  where  he  arrived  on  Fri 
day,  the  day  of  the  last  battle  at  the  fort.  On  Sun 
day  this  force  was  increased  by  the  arrival  of  some 
two  hundred  mounted  men,  called  the  Cullen  Guard, 
under  the  command  of  W.  J.  Cullen.  These,  with 
about  one  hundred  more  mounted  men,  were  placed 
under  the  command  of  Colonel  Samuel  M'Phaill. 

On  the  same  day  arrived  six  more  companies  of  the 
6th  regiment,  of  which  Wm.  R  Crooks  was  colonel. 
Several  companies  of  volunteer  militia  had  also  con 
gregated  here,  which  swelled  Sibley's  command  to 
some  1400  men. 

Large  as  this  force  was,  a  total  ignorance  of  the 
whereabouts,  number,  and  designs  of  the  enemy,  and 
the  vast  importance  of  not  suffering  a  defeat,  render 
ed  their  movements  slower  than  the  fiery  impatience 
of  the  people  demanded.  Besides,  though  arms  and 
ammunition  were  more  accessible  than  in  time  of 
peace,  they  were  not  such  as  the  magnitude  of  the  oc 
casion  required.  The  mounted  men  had  no  experi 
ence  in  war  and  were  only  partially  armed,  and  that 
only  with  pistols  and  sabres,  about  whose  use  they 
knew  nothing.  A  portion  of  the  guns  of  the  infantry 
were  worthless,  and  for  the  good  guns  there  were  no 
cartridges  that  would  fit.  The  foe  was  experienced 
in  war,  well  armed,  confident  of  victory,  and  wrought 
up  to  desperation  by  the  necessity  of  success.  Col 
onel  Sibley's  upward  march  was  through  scenes  cal 
culated  to  impress  him  with  the  importance  of  cau 
tion.  The  stream  of  fugitives  down  the  valley  far 
outnumbered  those  who  marched  up  for  their  relief. 


FORCES  DISPATCHED  TO  THE   FRONTIER.       119 

Shakopee,  Belle  Plaine,  and  Henderson  were  filled 
with  fugitives.  Guards  patroled  the  outskirts,  and 
attacks  were  constantly  apprehended. 

Henderson  was  in  the  midst  of  woods,  and  the  peo 
ple  expected  every  moment  that  the  enemy,  whose 
work  could  be  seen  from  the  village  in  their  blazing 
fires,  would  suddenly  emerge  from  the  woods  and 
commence  their  depredations.  St.  Peter's,  where  he 
now  was,  a  large,  straggling  town  of  several  thousand 
inhabitants,  and  swelled  to  double  its  true  number, 
presented  a  picture  of  excitement  not  easily  forgotten. 
Oxen  were  killed  in  the  streets,  and  the  meat,  hastily 
prepared,  cooked  over  fires  made  on  the  ground.  The 
grist-mills  were  surrendered  by  their  owners  to  the 
use  of  the  public,  and  kept  in  constant  motion  to  allay 
the  demand  for  food.  All  thought  of  property  was 
abandoned.  Safety  of  life  prevailed  over  every  other 
consideration.  Poverty  stared  those  who  had  been 
affluent  in  the.  face,  but  they  thought  little  of  that. 
Women  were  to  be  seen  in  the  street  hanging  on  each 
other's  necks,  telling  of  their  mutual  losses,  and  the  lit 
tle  terror-stricken  children,  surviving  remnants  of  once 
happy  homes,  crying  piteously  around  their  knees. 
The  houses  and  stables  were  all  occupied,  and  hund 
reds  of  the  fugitives  had  no  covering  or  shelter  but 
the  canopy  of  heaven. 

Were  the  town  attacked  great  destruction  must  nec 
essarily  ensue,  as  it  was  scattered  over  such  a  vast  ex 
tent  of  country  and  difficult  to  be  defended.  People 
had  been  killed  within  ten  miles  of  the  place,  and  An- 
toine  Frenier  had  been  shot  at  within  six  miles. 

On  the  26th  Lieutenant  Governor  Donnelly  wrote 
to  the  executive  from  St. Peter's:  "  You  can  hardly 


120  THE  SIOUX  WAR  AND   MASSACKE. 

conceive  the  panic  existing  along  the  valley.  In 
Belle  Plaine  I  found  six  hundred  people  crowded. 
In  this  place  the  leading  citizens  assure  me  there  are 
between  three  and  four  thousand  refugees.  On  the 
road  between  New  Ulm  and  Mankato  are  over  two 
thousand.  Mankato  also  is  crowded.  The  people 
here  are  in  a  state  of  panic.  They  fear  to  see  our 
forces  leave.  Although  we  may  agree  that  much  of 
this  dread  is  without  foundation,  nevertheless  it  is  pro 
ducing  disastrous  consequences  to  the  state.  The  peo 
ple  will  continue  to  pour  down  the  valley,  carrying 
consternation  wherever  they  go,  their  property  in  the 
mean  time  abandoned  and  going  to  ruin." 

The  safety  of  these  towns  and  the  panic-stricken 
people  depended  entirely  upon  Colonel  Sibley's  suc 
cess,  and  he  could  not  risk  every  thing  to  march,  un 
til  prepared,  to  the  relief  of  New  Ulm  and  Fort  Kidge- 
ly.  The  men  under  Captain  Cox,  who  reached  New 
Ulm  on  Sunday  morning,  were  dispatched  by  Colonel 
Sibley  on  Saturday.  On  Monday  he  sent  there  also 
Captain  Anderson,  with  forty  mounted  men  of  the 
Cullen  Guard,  and  twenty  foot  soldiers  in  wagons. 

The  prospect  to  these  was  by  no  means  agreeable. 
The  last  report  from  New  Ulm  was  that  the  town  was 
entirely  surrounded  by  Indians,  and  that  an  attempt 
to  penetrate  their  lines  was  perilous  in  the  extreme. 
Not  over  half  of  the  mounted  men  were  armed  with 
any  thing  but  pistols  and  swords,  and  at  the  first  fire 
the  inexperienced  riders  would  probably  be  placed 
hors  du  combat.  The  scenes  through  which  they  had 
already  passed  had  been  of  a  character  to  excite  the 
imagination,  and  the  stories  which  had  been  told  mag 
nified  the  apprehension.  They  had  stood  guard  in 


FORCES   DISPATCHED   TO   THE   FRONTIER.        121 

the  woods  of  Henderson  the  previous  night,  and  had 
seen  a  boy  brought  in  there  bleeding  from  wounds  he 
had  just  received;  and  on  their  ride  from  that  point 
to  St.  Peter's  they  found  that  the  settlers  had  all  fled ; 
the  only  whites  they  met  were  some  scouts  from  Le 
Sueur,  heavily  armed,  and  a  fugitive  flying  toward  St. 
Peter's  to  obtain  relief  for  a  family  who  had  just  been 
chased  in  the  woods  by  the  Indians.  In  these  they 
were  just  about  to  ride  when  the  Indians  made  their 
appearance  on  the  outskirts.  While  they  were  de 
bating  on  the  mode  of  attack,  William  Quinn,  a  half- 
breed,  rode  up  at  full  speed  with  a  note  from  Col 
onel  Sibley,  telling  them  not  to  go  into  the  woods,  as 
they  were  filled  with  Indians,  but  to  hurry  to  St.  Pe 
ter's.  It  was  noon  before  the  command  was  ready  to 
start  for  New  Ulm,  as  wagons,  ammunition,  provisions, 
cooking  utensils,  axes,  ropes  to  assist  in  crossing  the 
river  at  the  town  if  the  ferry  was  destroyed,  and  many 
other  things,  had  to  be  obtained. 

When  three  miles  out,  all  the  men  discharged  their 
pieces  and  reloaded  them.  At  the  same  time  they  saw 
a  man  in  the  distance  who  ran  for  the  woods.  They 
had  ridden  about  four  miles  farther  when  they  were 
overtaken  by  Colonel  Hewitt,  of  St.  Paul,  a  member 
of  the  company,  who  informed  them  that  the  man 
they  had  seen  had  heard  the  discharge  of  the  fire-arms, 
and  had  rushed  into  St.  Peter's  and  told  them  the 
command  had  been  attacked  by  the  Indians,  a  num 
ber  killed  on  each  side,  and  that  the  battle  was  still 
progressing.  All  was  excitement ;  the  long  roll  was 
beaten;  soldiers  assembled  and  marched  out  a  good 
distance  before  it  was  found  to  be  a  false  alarm.  This 
was  the  only  man  seen  on  the  route.  Far  in  advance 

F 


122  THE   SIOUX   WAR   AND   MASSACRE. 

of  the  troop  rode  the  guide,  the  brave,  stalwart  Scotch 
man,  George  M'Leod,  unarmed  save  with  a  knife  and 
an  old  sabre  which  he  had  swung  when  an  officer  in 
the  Canadian  war. 

Fifteen  miles  out  of  St.  Peter's  they  came  to  a  belt 
of  woods.  Here  M'Leod  halted  them  and  made  a 
short  address,  in  which  he  said  that  in  those  woods 
they  should  probably  be  attacked  by  Indians ;  that 
they  must  not  be  discouraged  by  seeing  their  com 
rades  fall  around  them;  that  there  was  no  such  thing 
as  a  retreat  if  a  contest  took  place  ;  and  that  the  only 
possible  chance  of  safety  was  to  stand  their  ground. 
The  horsemen  who  were  armed  with  guns  were  then 
ordered  to  dismount  and  leave  their  horses  in  charge 
of  their  companions,  and  then,  with  the  twenty  infan 
try  men,  they  scoured  the  woods. 

The  possibility  of  speedy  death  enforced  itself  upon 
the  minds  of  all,  and  the  imagination  was  busy  in  con 
jecturing  what  would  be  one's  sensations  as  the  fatal 
knife  advanced  to  the  throat,  cut  through  the  flesh, 
and  severed  the  head  from  the  body,  and  how  one 
would  look  after  it  was  done.  Not  an  Indian,  though, 
was  to  be  seen.  The  same  course  was  taken  in  pass 
ing  through  all  the  groves  on  the  route. 

That  night  they  camped  on  an  eminence  within 
eight  miles  of  New  Ulm,  having  made  twenty  miles. 
Just  below  was  a  deserted  farm-house.  Its  inmates 
were  evidently  persons  of  taste.  Pictures  hung  upon 
the  walls.  There  were  flowers  in  pots  on  the  porch, 
and  vines  clambering  over  it.  The  table  was  set,  ap 
parently  for  the  evening  meal ;  the  dishes  were  still 
upon  it,  and  the  half-tasted  food,  and  the  chairs  pushed 
back,  as  if  the  occupants  had  suddenly  jumped  up  on 


FORCES   DISPATCHED   TO   THE   FRONTIER.        123 

hearing  the  news,  and  rushed  at  once  away.  Near 
by  was  a  garden,  from  which  the  men  supplied  them 
selves  with  vegetables,  and  at  a  distance  beyond  an 
oat-field,  on  which  the  crop  lay  bound  in  sheaves. 
These  furnished  food  for  the  wearied  horses. 

Barricading  themselves  as  well  as  possible  with  rails 
from  neighboring  fences,  they  passed  an  anxious  night. 
Every  man  was  on  guard,  lying  flat  upon  the  ground. 
Jaded  by  four  days  continuous  riding,  and  destitute  of 
proper  clothing  and  blankets  to  protect  themselves 
against  the  cool  night  air — apprehensive  at  every  mo 
ment  of  an  attack  from  the  stealthy  foe,  and  drenched 
with  heavy  rain,  they  longed  impatiently  for  the  morn 
ing  light. 

Far  out  in  the  tall,  wet  grass  were  a  number  of 
pickets,  who  were  instructed  to  shoot  at  the  first  man 
who  approached,  and  then  rush  into  camp,  when  all 
were  to  make  the  best  defense  possible.  Their  ex 
cited  imaginations  construed  every  noise  as  coming 
from  the  enemy.  To  one  going  the  rounds  a  picket 
whispered,  " There !  don't  you  hear  that  signal  cry? 
they  will  soon  attack  us."  It  was  nothing  but  the 
melancholy  tuwhit  of  an  owl  in  a  neighboring  tree. 

"Be  still,"  said  another,  drawing  him  upon  the 
ground,  where  he  was  lying  with  his  gun  cocked;  "  I 
have  heard  for  some  time  the  tramping  of  an  Indian 
pony  over  there,  and  am  just  waiting  to  catch  a 
glimpse  of  him  before  I  shoot."  It  was  the  picket  on 
the  next  beat  walking  to  keep  himself  warm.  Ex 
cited  as  most  of  the  pickets  were,  there  were  two  or 
three  so  dead  to  all  sense  of  danger,  through  the  fa 
tigue  they  had  endured,  that  they  went  soundly  to 
sleep,  and  snored  so  loud  that  they  could  be  heard  all 
over  the  camp. 


124  THE  SIOUX  WAR  AND   MASSACEE. 

Just  before  dawn  the  bark  of  a  dog  was  heard. 
Every  one  was  then  on  the  gui  vive,  as  the  Indians  at 
tack  in  the  gray  of  the  morning,  and  the  dog  was  sup 
posed  to  belong  to  them.  Soon  came  the  crowing  of 
cocks  from  the  deserted  farm-houses — -joyful  sounds,  as 
indicative  of  the  coming  morning ;  melancholy  sounds, 
as  indicative  of  civilization  which  had  fled  far  away. 
Presently  the  dog  came  into  camp,  wagging  his  tail 
with  joy.  He  belonged  to  one  of  the  settlers,  and  was 
glad  to  see  white  men  once  more. 

The  dawn  came  without  an  attack,  and  hurriedly 
feeding  the  horses,  and  taking  a  few  morsels  to  satisfy 
their  hunger,  they  proceeded  hastily,  but  with  caution, 
on  their  way.  The  clouds  had  passed  away ;  the  sun 
soon  rode  up  bright  in  the  blue  sky ;  the  vegetation, 
"  washed  by  the  rain,  and  wiped  with  the  sunbeam," 
glittered  exuberant  in  the  clear  light,  and 

"All  the  bugle  breezes  blew 
Reveille  to  the  breaking  morn." 

An  hour  and  a  half's  brisk  gallop  brought  them  to 
the  ferry,  two  miles  below  the  town.  This  they  ex 
pected  to  find  guarded  by  Indians ;  but  not  a  person 
was  to  be  seen.  A  pair  of  oxen,  yoked  together,  were 
struggling  in  the  river.  The  boat,  half  filled  with  wa 
ter,  lay  in  the  centre  of  the  stream.  Two  men  swam 
out  and  brought  her  to  the  shore.  She  was  quickly 
bailed  out  and  the  troops  ferried  across.  Cautiously 
they  approached  the  town,  expecting  to  cut  their  way 
through  the  beleaguering  Indians,  and  to  be  received 
with  the  cheers  and  hospitality  of  the  people ;  but  no 
sound  greeted  their  ears.  Soon  they  saw  thickly  scat 
tered  around  vast  swollen  carcasses  of  cows,  and  oxen, 
and  horses,  perforated  with  balls.  These  were  fast 


FOECES  DISPATCHED  TO   THE   FEONTIEE.        125 

approaching  decomposition.  They  lay  on  their  sides 
and  backs,  their  legs  pointing  out  stiff  and  straight  in 
the  air.  Swarms  of  large  black  flies  were  settled  on 
them,  which  started  buzzing  up  at  the  approach  of 
man,  and  the  most  sickening  stench  pervaded  the  at 
mosphere.  Presently  they  came  to  the  blackened  re 
mains  of  the  burned  buildings,  where  the  fire  had  not 
yet  died  out,  and  from  which  there  flickered  a  faint 
yellow,  unearthly  smoke.  Across  the  principal  street 
lay  the  naked,  headless  body  of  a  man,  swollen  like 
the  cattle  and  blackened  with  the  sun — the  head  cut 
off  and  scalped,  and  tumbled  some  distance  from  the 
trunk.  Just  off  the  street  were  many  new-made 
graves,  with  boards  fixed  at  the  head,  with  the  names 
of  the  dead  upon  them.  The  doors  of  the  unburned 
houses  were  standing  wide  ajar.  Goods  from  the 
stores,  and  household  utensils,  and  bedding,  and  fur 
niture  were  littered  over  the  ground  in  endless  confu 
sion.  Buildings  were  loopholed  for  musketry,  and 
the  marks  of  bullets  every  where  visible. 

The  day  had  now  become  intensely  hot ;  no  breath 
of  air  was  stirring ;  the  sky  was  brazen,  and  over  the 
devastated  town,  where  the  beauty  of  the  winding  riv 
er,  and  the  riotous  luxuriance  of  the  foliage  contrast 
ed  so  with  the  ruin  around,  there  seemed  to  the  awe- 
stricken  beholder  to  rest  an  atmosphere  peculiarly  its 
own,  such  as  one  would  fancy  over  a  city  devastated 
by  the  plague,  or  over  the  frightful  spot  where  an 
earthquake  had  ingulfed  a  people.  The  loud  voice 
of  the  captain  broke  the  awful  silence.  "  Gro  up  yon 
der  street,"  he  said  to  the  twenty  foot  soldiers.  They 
hesitated,  for  they  were  many  of  them  residents  of  the 
place,  and  expected  to  find  their  friends  dead  in  the 


126  THE   SIOUX  WAR  AND   MASSACRE. 

houses.  "  Forward,"  again  cried  the  captain,  drawing 
his  pistol ;  "  the  first  man  who  falters  I  will  shoot  him 
dead."  Striking  up  a  wild  Grerman  war-song,  they 
rushed  forward.  Then  the  order  was  given  the  horse 
men  to  draw  their  sabres  and  charge  up  another  street. 
This  they  did,  yelling  like  demons,  and  startling  the 
echoes  with  their  infuriated  shouts,  until  their  prog 
ress  was  checked  by  the  barricades.  But  there  "was 
no  living  thing  there  except  a  few  dogs,  which  came 
out  yelping  at  their  approach.  Some  thought  they 
saw  Indian  tepees  on  an  adjoining  eminence,  and  the 
company  rode  briskly  over,  but  found  they  were  de 
ceived.  The  place  was  deserted  by  friend  and  foe. 

Helping  themselves  to  blankets  and  cooking  uten 
sils,  the  men  retraced  their  course  to  St.  Peter's,  as 
their  orders  were  positive  to  return  at  once.  Before 
they  left  they  buried  the  body  they  saw  on  their  en 
trance  alongside  of  the  street.  In  crossing  the  ferry, 
one  of  the  teams  attached  to  the  wagon  loaded  with 
the  eatables  backed  off  the  boat.  They  struggled 
madly  in  the  stream,  and  all  efforts  to  save  them 
proved  unavailing.  They  were  impressed  from  a 
poor  fellow,  who  stood  watching  them  with  tears  in 
his  eyes.  He  had  to  wait  many  weary  months  before 
he  received  his  pay. 

The  hard  service  which  the  horses  had  endured 
made  it  necessary  to  walk  them  most  of  the  distance, 
and  darkness  came  on  before  they  were  half  way  to 
St.  Peter's.  Many  went  to  sleep  on  their  horses,  and 
dreamed  horrid  dreams  of  the  ghastly  town  they  had 
just  seen,  and  of  perils  around,  and  of  anxious  mourn 
ing  relatives  if  death  should  meet  them.  From  these 
they  would  be  aroused,  at  every  grove  in  which  there 


FORCES   DISPATCHED   TO   THE   FRONTIER.        127 

might  be  a  lurking  foe,  by  the  sharp  order  "  Forward, 
double-quick,"  and  away  they  would  dash  through 
the  silent,  solemn  woods,  their  sabres  rattling,  and  the 
loud  rumble  of  the  wagons,  and  the  quick  clatter  of 
the  horses'  feet  sounding  painfully  afar. 

At  midnight  they  reached  St.  Peter's,  and  found  that 
Colonel  Sibley  had  left  that  morning  for  Fort  Kidge- 
ly  with  his  command,  and  had  ordered  them  to  follow 
immediately  on  their  return.  Here  they  learned  what 
had  become  of  the  people  of  New  Ulm.  On  Monday, 
the  25th  of  August,  and  the  day  before  they  entered 
the  place,  the  people,  numbering  about  two  thousand 
persons,  comprising  the  women  and  children,  the  sick 
and  the  wounded,  with  a  train  of  one  hundred  and  fif 
ty-three  wagons,  had  abandoned  the  town  and  gone 
to  Mankato.  The  exhaustion  of  their  ammunition ; 
the  ravages  of  disease,  arising  from  the  decomposition 
of  the  dead  animals  and  the  close  quarters  into  which 
they  were  penned ;  the  uncertainty  of  relief  from  be 
low,  and  the  fate  of  Fort  Eidgely  and  neighboring 
towns,  with  the  consequent  isolation  of  the  place,  seem 
ed,  in  the  judgment  of  a  council  of  the  officers  and 
soldiers,  to  necessitate  this  course. 

During  Monday  night  one  of  their  sentinels  saw 
some  one  approaching  the  camp,  who,  to  the  challenge 
"  Who  goes  there  ?"  responded  "A  Winnebago."  The 
sentinel  aimed  his  gun  at  the  person,  and  snapped 
two  caps  upon  it  without  being  able  to  effect  a  dis 
charge,  which  was  singular,  as  the  piece  was  a  Spring 
field  musket — a  gun  that  hardly  ever  misses  fire.  It 
was  a  lucky  incident,  for  the  person  was  a  white  wom 
an,  a  fugitive  from  Lake  Shetek.  She  answered  that 
she  was  a  Winnebago  because  she  feared  that  it  was 


128  THE  SIOUX  WAR  AND   MASSACRE. 

an  encampment  of  the  Sioux.  She  had  traveled  sev 
enty  miles  without  tasting  a  morsel  of  food,  and  car 
ried  her  baby  on  her  back.  The  Indians  had  fired  at 
her,  and  a  ball  had  passed  through  her  shoulder  and 
carried  away  the  child's  finger.  The  remainder  of 
her  family  had  been  killed.  She  said  that  the  child 
was  very  fretful,  and  would  often  cry  when  its  wound 
commenced  to  pam ;  but  that,  whenever  she  saw  In 
dians  and  crouched  in  the  grass  for  concealment,  the 
baby,  as  if  by  instinct,  would  keep  perfectly  quiet. 

Most  of  the  fugitives  had  arrived  at  St.  Peter's. 
Some  forty  of  the  wounded  were  placed  in  a  large 
room,  and  the  surgeons  were  at  their  work.  The 
cries  and  groaning  from  the  writhing  forms  were  pite 
ous  to  hear.  The  Rev.  Henry  B.  Whipple,  the  Epis 
copal  Bishop  of  Minnesota,  active  in  every  good  work, 
and  whose  heart  is  as  kind  and  tender  as  that  of  a 
woman,  had  hastened  hither,  and  was  busily  engaged 
in  alleviating  their  sufferings. 

On  Wednesday  the  troop  which  had  visited  ISTew 
Ulm  started  for  the  fort,  forty-five  miles  distant.  On 
their  way  they  met  a  man  in  a  wagon  who  had  just 
been  shot  at  by  an  Indian,  who  was  probably  a  scout, 
and  desirous  of  getting  the  man's  horse  to  convey  the 
news  of  Sibley's  movement.  He  pointed  out  the 
marsh  in  which  the  Indian  had  concealed  himself. 
They  found  where  he  had  lain,  and  presently  routed 
him  out,  but  he  made  his  way  into'  the  woods  and  es 
caped  pursuit.  The  next  day  they  reached  the  fort, 
having  ridden  two  hundred  miles  since  Friday.  Col 
onel  Sibley  had  arrived  that  morning,  Colonel  M'Phaill, 
with  a  body  of  horsemen,  having  preceded  him  the 
previous  night.  On  his  way  Colonel  Sibley  had  bur- 


FOKCES  DISPATCHED  TO  THE   FRONTIER.       129 

ied  a  man  whose  scalp  Anderson's  troop  found.  He 
had  been  killed  on  Monday  or  Tuesday.  Duncan 
Kennedy,  a  messenger  from  the  fort  to  St.  Peter's, 
while  groping  his  way  in  the  night,  had  stumbled 
upon  this  body.  There  was  a  low  mist  over  the 
ground,  which  prevented  its  being  seen.  The  horri 
ble  stench,  and  the  sensation  received  from  contact 
with  the  corpse,  caused  him  almost  to  faint  with  diz 
ziness  ;  but,  cocking  both  barrels  of  his  gun,  he  stag 
gered  on,  and  reached  St.  Peter's  in  safety.  Nathan 
Myrick  and  Charles  Mix,  volunteer  scouts  from  St. 
Peter's  to  the  fort,  had  also  seen  this  body  days  before, 
and  shudderingly  told  of  its  appearance.  The  corpses 
of  the  two  soldiers  before  spoken  of  were  found  near 
the  fort  and  buried. 

Intrenchments  were  thrown  up  around  the  fort,  and 
upon  a  neighboring  elevation  which  commanded  the 
camp.  Cannon  were  placed  in  enfilading  positions, 
and  a  strong  guard  continually  kept  up.  The  first 
two  nights  after  the  arrival  of  the  forces  shots  were 
fired  into  the  camp,  and  a  general  attack  expected, 
but  none  came.  It  could  never  satisfactorily  be  de 
termined  whether  the  shots  were  from  Indians  or  from 
our  own  frightened  outposts. 

The  soldiers  now  rambled  freely  through  the  woods, 
which  a  few  days  before  would  have  been  attended 
with  certain  death.  The  numerous  tents,  the  armed 
host  and  frowning  cannon,  were  welcome  to  those  who 
had  been  so  long  besieged. 

"The  drum 

Beat ;  merrily-blowing  shrilled  the  martial  fife  ; 
And  in  the  blast  and  bray  of  the  long  horn 
And  serpent-throated  bugle  undulated 
The  banner." 

F2 


130  THE   SIOUX  WAR  AND   MASSACRE. 

Some  of  the  men  amused  themselves  by  digging  up 
a  dead  Indian,  and  using  him  as  a  mark  for  their  ri 
fles.  One  of  his  ribs  was  cut  out  and  preserved  by 
an  officer  possessed  of  a  morbid  desire  for  a  relic. 
Most  of  the  mounted  men  had  enlisted  for  no  particular 
time ;  they  had  left  their  business  unattended  to — the 
merchant  had  closed  his  doors,  and  the  farmer  had 
abandoned  his  crops  on  the  field;  they  had  accom 
plished  what  they  started  for — the  relief  of  Fort  Kidge- 
ly  and  New  Ulm ;  there  was  no  prospect  of  a  speedy 
conflict,  and  they  insisted  on  returning  home.  Nine 
ty  men,  however,  of  the  Cullen  Guard,  under  Captain 
Anderson,  still  remained,  and  these  were  soon  in 
creased  by  the  arrival  of  forty -seven  men  under  Cap 
tain  Sterritt.  On  the  1st  of  September,  Lieutenant 
Colonel  Marshall,  with  a  portion  of  the  7th  regiment, 
joined  the  expedition.  All  that  was  now  needed  for 
a  forward  movement  were  ammunition  and  provi 
sions,  but  these  did  not  arrive  in  sufficient  quantity 
for  many  days  afterward.  Excitement  soon  came  in 
most  woful  shape. 


BIRCH   COOLIE.  131 


CHAPTEK  VIII. 

BIRCH   COOLIE. 

ON  Sunday,  the  last  day  of  August,  Captain  Grant's 
company  of  infantry,  seventy  men  of  the  Cullen 
Guard  under  Captain  Anderson,  and  a  detail  of  citi 
zens  and  other  soldiers,  together  with  seventeen  team 
sters  with  teams,  numbering  in  all  about  one  hundred 
and  fifty  men,  were  dispatched,  under  command  of 
Major  Joseph  K.  Brown,  to  the  Lower  Agency,  for  the 
purpose  of  burying  the  dead,  and  ascertaining,  if  pos 
sible,  the  whereabouts  of  the  enemy. 

The  next  evening,  several  of  the  citizens  who  had 
accompanied  them  returned,  and  informed  Colonel  Sib- 
ley  that  on  that  morning  the  cavalry  and  a  small  por 
tion  of  the  infantry  had  crossed  the  river  at  the  agen 
cy,  buried  the  dead,  and  had  gone  some  little  distance 
above,  and  that  there  were  no  indications  of  the  In 
dians  having  been  there  for  several  days.  Captain 
Grant,  with  the  infantry,  had  interred  the  dead  on  the 
Fort  Eidgely  side,  including  those  at  Beaver  Creek, 
and  had  encamped  during  the  afternoon  on  the  same 
side  of  the  river,  where  they  were  joined  in  the  even 
ing  by  Major  Brown  and  his  detachment. 

The  report  that  Major  Brown,  whose  long  residence 
among  the  Indians  had  made  him  a  competent  judge, 
could  discover  no  indications  of  their  presence  in  the 
neighborhood,  caused  the  commander  of  the  expedi 
tion  to  rest  easy  as  to  the  safety  of  the  detachment ; 


132  THE   SIOUX  WAK  AND  MASSACRE. 

but  on  the  morning  of  Wednesday  the  sentries  sent 
word  that  they  could  hear  the  report  of  guns  in  the 
direction  of  the  agency.  The  eminences  around  the 
camp  were  quickly  crowded  with  anxious  listeners. 
The  wind  was  blowing  strongly  toward  the  direction 
from  which  the  sound  was  stated  to  have  proceeded, 
but  by  throwing  one's  self  upon  the  ground,  the  rapid 
discharge  of  fire-arms  could  be  distinctly  heard.  Col 
onel  M'Phaill,  with  fifty  horsemen,  Maj.or  M'Laren, 
with  one  hundred  and  five  infantry,  and  Captain  Mark 
Hendricks,  with  a  mountain  howitzer,  were  at  once 
sent  forward  to  their  relief.  The  musketry  still  con 
tinued  to  be  heard,  and  in  a  few  hours  the  sullen  boom 
of  the  howitzer  indicated  that  the  second  detachment 
had  become  engaged.  The  tents  were  ordered  to  be 
struck  and  taken  into  the  fort,  and  the  entire  com 
mand  to  put  themselves  at  once  in  readiness  for  march 
ing.  Just  as  the  sun  was  setting,  and  in  an  incredibly 
short  time  after  the  order  was  given,  the  whole  force 
was  in  motion.  Accompanying  it  was  Sergeant  Jones, 
with  two  pieces  of  cannon. 

After  a  slow,  weary  march  of  thirteen  miles,  the 
darkness,  which  had  now  become  intense,  was  lit  up 
by  a  bright  flash,  followed  by  the  quick  roar  of  the 
howitzer ;  and  guided  by  its  repeated  discharges,  to 
which  our  cannon  answered,  we  found  ourselves  at 
the  camp  of  the  second  detachment.  During  the  aft 
ernoon  they  had  advanced  within  three  miles  of 
where  Major  Brown  was  supposed  to  be ;  had  been 
attacked  by  a  large  force  of  Indians,  and  had  thought 
it  better  to  choose  a  position  and  wait  for  re-enforce 
ments.  At  early  dawn  the  entire  force  was  in  motion. 
As  we  neared  the  head  of  Birch  Coolie  tents  could  be 


BIECH   COOLIE.  133 

seen  through  the  trees,  and  speculations  were  rife  as 
to  whether  it  was  Brown's  camp  or  that  of  the  In 
dians,  as  they  have  tents  very  similar  to  our  own. 

The  Indians  were  soon  seen  swarming  through  a 
belt  of  woods  toward  our  column  from  the  direction 
of  the  tents,  and  quickly  scattering  along  the  line, 
waving  their  blankets  and  shouting  defiance,  as  if  to 
entice  us  into  the  woods  in  pursuit.  Some  were 
mounted,  and  one  on  a  white  horse  was  especially 
conspicuous,  riding  up  and  down  the  line,  and  encour 
aging  his  comrades.  Failing  to  draw  the  forces  into 
the  wood,  they  advanced  nearer,  and,  throwing  them 
selves  down  behind  eminences  which  would  afford 
protection,  poured  a  rapid  fire  into  the  column.  Near 
ly  all  the  balls  flew  too  high  or  were  spent,  and  only 
one  of  our  men  was  wounded.  Skirmishers  were  at 
once  thrown  out,  who,  with  quick  discharges,  drove 
them  back,  and  the  bursting  shells  from  the  cannon 
soon  put  them  to  rout.  They  retreated  rapidly  down 
Birch  Coolie,  and  crossed  the  river  at  the  agency. 

The  tents  proved  to  be  those  of  Major  Brown,  and 
the  scene  presented  was  most  horrible.  The  camp 
was  surrounded  by  the  dead  bodies  of  the  horses,  over 
ninety  in  number,  perforated  with  balls.  The  tents 
were  riddled  with  bullets,  as  many  as  one  hundred 
and  four  being  found  in  a  single  one.  Ditches  were 
dug  between  the  tents,  and  the  horses  and  the  dirt 
piled  on  them  so  as  to  form  a  breastwork.  Within 
this  circuit  lay  thirteen  of  the  soldiers  dead,  and  a 
number  wounded,  many  of  them  mortally,  and  a  few 
feet  distant  were  more  dead  bodies.  Among  the 
wounded  were  Major  Brown,  Captain  Anderson, 
Agent  Galbraith,  and  Captain  Kedfield,  of  Colonel 


134  THE   SIOUX  WAR  AND   MASSACRE. 

Sibley's  staff.  The  groanings  of  the  wounded  could 
be  heard  a  long  distance  off.  William  Irvine,  of 
west  St.  Paul,  presented  a  terrible  spectacle.  He  had 
been  shot  in  the  head,  and  his  brains  were  oozing  over 
his  face  ;  and  yet  he  lived  for  a  number  of  hours,  his 
breathing  heavy  and  painfully  distinct. 

I  have  already  stated  that  they  had  camped  here 
on  Monday  evening.  The  spot  was  chosen  because 
of  its  accessibility  to  wood  and  water,  and  but  little 
reference  to  an  attack  had  in  view,  as  it  was  supposed 
that  no  Indians  were  in  the  neighborhood.  In  fact,  a 
worse  spot  to  repel  an  attack  could  not  have  been 
found.  It  was  within  gunshot  of  the  head  of  the  wood 
ed  ravine  on  one  side,  and  of  an  elevation  on  the  oth 
er,  from  behind  which  an  attacking  party  could  com 
mand  the  camp  with  safety  to  themselves.  In  the 
afternoon,  just  after  the  camp  was  pitched,  some  one 
thought  he  heard  several  guns  fired,  but  little  atten 
tion  was  paid  to  the  statement.  Ten  sentinels  were 
placed  around  the  camp,  with  orders  to  keep  a  strict 
look-out,  and  to  give  the  alarm  at  once  in  case  of  any 
suspicious  appearance.  The  remainder,  fatigued  with 
the  hard  marching  which  they  had  endured  for  the 
past  week,  and  with  the  labors  of  the  day,  for  they 
had  buried  fifty-four  victims  of  the  outbreak,  were 
soon  wrapped  in  profound  slumber,  little  dreaming  of 
being  prematurely  aroused  from  it. 

Just  as  it  began  to  grow  a  little  gray  in  the  east, 
one  of  the  sentinels  thought  he  saw  something  creep 
ing  toward  him  in  the  grass.  He  fired  at  it,  and  before 
the  echoes  of  the  report  had  died  away,  a  volley  from 
three  hundred  guns,  within  a  hundred  yards  of  the 
slumbering  camp,  raked  the  tents  "  fore  and  aft."  For 


BIKCH  COOLIE.  135 

more  than  three  hours  this  firing  was  kept  up  with 
scarcely  an  intermission,  and  in  that  fatal  three  hours 
some  twenty  men  were  killed  or  mortally  wounded, 
some  sixty  severely  wounded,  and  over  ninety  horses 
killed.  The  Indian  guns  were  mostly  double-bar 
reled,  and  there  was  a  perfect  rain  of  lead  upon  the 
little  camp ;  the  tents  were  riddled  with  balls,  and  the 
scene  beggared  description.  After  the  effect  of  the 
first  fire  was  partially  over  the  men  commenced  to 
"  dig,"  and  dig  they  did  with  one  pick,  three  spades, 
a  couple  of  old  axes,  knives,  bayonets,  and  sticks,  and 
by  four  o'clock  P.M.  they  had  holes  enough  in  the 
ground  to  protect  them  from  shooting  at  a  distance. 
When  they  were  relieved  by  Colonel  Sibley  they  had 
been  thirty-one  hours  without  food  or  water,  with  but 
thirty  rounds  of  ammunition  to  the  man  when  they 
commenced,  and  with  less  than  five  when  relieved.* 
This  was  the  most  severe  battle  of  the  war  in  propor 
tion  to  the  number  engaged.  Twenty-three  men  were 
killed  or  mortally  wounded,  forty -five  more  severely 
wounded,  and  the  remainder  had  been  hit  or  received 
bullet-holes  in  their  garments.  One  horse  alone  sur 
vived — a  powerful  stallion,  who  had  been  impressed 
at  Henderson,  and  he  was  wounded. 

Captain  Grant  had  found  a  woman  the  day  before 
near  Beaver  Creek,  who,  though  badly  wounded  by  a 
discharge  of  buckshot,  had  made  her  escape  from  the 
massacre  near  Patterson's  Eapids.  She  had  been  four 
teen  days  without  seeing  a  human  being,  and  had  eat 
en  nothing  during  this  time  but  a  few  berries,  obtain 
ed  by  dragging  herself  through  the  briers.  When 
found  she  was  nearly  dead,  and  in  such  an  exhausted 

*  Agent  Galbraith's  Report. 


136  THE   SIOUX  WAR  AND  MASSACRE. 

state  as  to  be  almost  unable  to  speak,  and  could  give 
but  little  account  of  herself  or  her  sufferings.  She 
was  lying  in  a  high  wagon  in  the  centre  of  the  camp 
during  the  attack,  and,  strange  to  say,  received  no  in 
jury,  though  a  number  of  balls  passed  through  the 
wagon  from  different  directions.  God  would  not 
break  the  bruised  reed. 

Major  Brown  was  correct  in  his  conclusion  that  the 
Indians  had  left  the  Lower  Agency  several  days  be 
fore.  On  Thursday,  four  days  after  the  last  attack  on 
New  Ulm,  hearing  of  Sibley's  march  to  the  fort,  and 
anxious  to  place  their  families  in  safety,  they  had 
moved  up  above  the  Yellow  Medicine  Eiver.  Short 
ly  after,  an  Indian,  who  had  been  getting  in  his  traps 
back  of  New  Ulm,  told  them  that  he  had  been  within 
view  of  the  town,  and  that  it  appeared  to  him  to  be 
deserted.  On  hearing  this,  a  war  party  was  at  onco 
organized  to  proceed  to  New  Ulm  and  get  what  plun 
der  they  wanted,  and  then  to  attack  St.  Peter's  and 
Mankato. 

Early  on  Monday  morning  three  hundred  and  forty- 
nine  warriors,  with  a  long  train  of  wagons  to  carry 
their  plunder,  started  down  the  river  on  the  reserva 
tion  side,  under  Gray  Bird,  of  Crow's  band,  a  Farmer 
Indian,  and  speaker  of  the  Soldiers'  Lodge.  One  hund 
red  and  ten  more,  under  Crow,  followed  in  an  hour, 
with  the  intention  of  joining  them,  but  crossed  over 
the  river  at  Yellow  Medicine  to  meet  any  troops  who 
might  be  coming  up  on  that  side  to  attack  their  fami 
lies.  They  changed  their  minds  after  they  had  march 
ed  five  or  six  miles,  and  went  toward  the  Big  Woods, 
in  the  neighborhood  of  Acton. 

When  Gray  Bird's  force  arrived  at  the  Lower  Agen- 


BIKCH   COOLIE.  137 

cy  they  caught  sight  of  Major  Brown's  horsemen  wind 
ing  up  the  ravine  to  Grant's  camp.  Eunners  were 
sent  over  to  watch  their  movements,  and  ascertain 
whether  they  were  moving  toward  Yellow  Medicine 
or  the  fort.  When  these  returned  and  informed  them 
that  the  whites  had  encamped,  their  joy  knew  no 
bounds,  and  they  at  once  resolved  on  the  attack  which 
followed. 

Had  we  sent  out  spies  upon  the  movements  of  the 
Indians  at  Yellow  Medicine,  the  result  would  have 
been  different,  for  we  might  have  surprised  both  par 
ties,  perhaps,  with  great  slaughter.  Colonel  Sibley,  in 
his  report  of  the  battle,  says:  "That  the  command 
was  not  destroyed  before  I  arrived  to  rescue  them 
from  their  perilous  situation  may  be  ascribed  chiefly 
to  the  coolness  of  nerve  displayed  by  Major  Brown 
and  Captain  Anderson,  both  of  whom  were  severely 
wounded."  Captains  Grant  and  Kedfield,  and  Lieu 
tenants  Turnbull,  Gillam,  and  Baldwin,  behaved  with 
great  gallantry,  as  did  all  the  men  during  the  trying 
ordeal.  After  the  dead  were  buried  the  command  re 
turned  to  the  fort,  carrying  the  wounded  with  them. 

Disastrous  as  this  affair  was,  it  saved  New  Ulm  from 
total  destruction,  and  Mankato  and  St.  Peter's,  which 
were  now  left  almost  defenseless,  from  attacks  which 
would  necessarily  have  been  attended  with  great  loss 
of  life  and  property. 


138  THE   SIOUX  WAR  AND   MASSACKE. 


CHAPTER  IX. 

THE  WAR   PARTY  TO   THE   BIG-  WOODS. 

LITTLE  CROW'S  party  to  the  Big  "Woods  traveled 
thirty  miles  on  Monday,  and  camped  near  Acton. 
Twenty  of  them  were  mounted,  and  Little  Crow  rode 
in  his  own  wagon  with  Jo.  Campbell,  a  mixed  blood, 
who  acted  as  his  driver  and  private  secretary.  Bap- 
tiste  Campbell,  Jo.'s  brother,  Louis  la  Belle,  and  Maga 
(the  Swan),  all  half-breeds,  were  also  with  the  party. 
They  traveled  together  until  noon  of  the  next  day, 
when  a  quarrel  arose.  Little  Crow,  with  thirty -four 
Indians  and  the  half-breeds,  started  for  Cedar  Mills  to 
get  flour,  after  which  they  were  to  return  to  Yellow 
Medicine.  They  camped  a  mile  and  a  half  from  Ac 
ton.  The  other  party  determined  to  make  a  raid 
through  the  country  to  St.  Cloud,  and  camped  within 
half  a  mile  of  Crow,  without  either  being  aware  that 
night  of  the  presence  of  the  other,  or  of  their  proxim 
ity  to  any  white  men. 

There  was  a  party  of  white  men,  equally  ignorant 
of  the  presence  of  these  Indians,  encamped  at  Acton, 
about  a  mile  distant,  in  the  yard  of  Howard  Baker, 
one  of  the  victims  of  the  outrage  which  preceded  the 
massacre.  They  were  enlisted  men  and  volunteer  mi 
litia  from  Hennepin  County,  numbering  in  all  about 
seventy-five  men,  under  the  command  of  Captain 
Richard  Strout,  of  company  B  of  the  9th  Minnesota 
regiment.  In  the  night  several  scouts  came  through 


THE  WAR  PARTY  TO   THE   BIG  WOODS.         139 

from  Forest  City,  informing  them  that  on  the  preced 
ing  morning  Captain  Whitcomb  had  been  attacked 
near  that  place  by  Indians  (who  belonged  to  another 
party  than  that  just  referred  to),  and  to  be  on  the  look 
out  for  them,  and  to  hurry  to  the  defense  of  the  town. 
Early  in  the  morning  they  started  toward  Hutchin- 
son,  intending  to  go  from  there  to  Forest  City,  as  the 
direct  road  was  more  dangerous. 

They  passed  by  the  larger  body  of  Indians  unper- 
ceived.  As  they  approached  Crow's  camp,  one  of  his 
Indians  caught  sight  of  them,  and  told  the  others 
there  were  three  hundred  whites  coming.  Then  the 
Indians  sent  the  half-breeds  with  the  horses  into  the 
woods,  and  stripped  themselves  for  battle.  Just  then 
the  other  party  of  Indians  discovered  the  white  men, 
and  followed  them  up,  whooping  and  firing.  Crow's 
party  appeared  in  their  front,  and  the  whites  charged 
through  them,  firing  as  they  advanced,  and  made  their 
way  to  Hutchinson,  closely  followed  by  the  Indians 
for  four  or  five  miles,  losing  nine  horses,  and  several 
wagons  containing  arms,  ammunition,  cooking  uten 
sils,  tents,  etc.,  together  with  three  killed  and  fifteen 
wounded. 

Among  the  killed  was  Edwin  Stone,  a  respectable 
merchant  of  Minneapolis.  He  was  on  foot  when 
wounded,  and  endeavored  to  get  into  a  wagon,  but 
fell  backward  exclaiming,  u  My  God,  they  will  butch 
er  me."  Little  Crow's  son,  a  boy  between  fifteen  and 
sixteen,  ran  up  and  shot  him,  and  another  Indian  rid 
ing  past  jumped  off  his  horse,  sunk  his  tomahawk 
into  his  brain  with  a  force  that  made  him  bound  from 
the  ground,  leaped  on  his  horse  again,  and  joined  in 
the  pursuit.  The  wadding  from  the  gun  set  Stone's 


140  THE  SIOUX  WAR  AND  MASSACRE, 

clothes  on  fire,  and  one  of  the  half-breeds  endeavored 
to  extinguish  it  by  rubbing  it  with  bunches  of  grass, 
which  were  afterward  found  near  the  body. 

That  night  they  encamped  near  Cedar  Mills,  and 
next  morning  advanced  to  Hutchinson,  which  they 
reached  about  ten  o'clock.  They  burned  a  large  por 
tion  of  the  town,  and  attacked  Strout's  company  and 
others  in  the  fort.  Oma-ni-sa,  a  young  Indian,  called 
out  in  English  to  the  garrison  to  come  on  the  open 
field  and  fight  like  men.  The  whites  came  forth  in 
squads  and  drove  them  back  without  the  loss  of  any 
of  their  number.  One  of  the  Indians  was  severely 
wounded.  He  was  carried  as  far  as  Lac  qui  Parle, 
where  he  died. 

On  the  preceding  day  (the  3d),  about  two  o'clock  in 
the  morning,  the  Indians,  against  whom  Strout  had 
been  warned,  numbering  some  fifty  warriors,  attacked 
Forest  City,  wounded  two  men,  burned  several  build 
ings,  and  carried  off  a  great  deal  of  plunder. 

The  Hutchinson  party,  after  skirmishing  most  of 
the  day  around  that  place,  returned  to  their  camping- 
place  near  Cedar  Mills.  They  were  joined  during  the 
night  by  the  party  who  had  attacked  Forest  City  the 
preceding  day.  One  of  these,  Kah-shak-a-wa-kan, 
brought  Mrs.  Adams  as  a  prisoner.  He  had  taken  her 
child  with  her,  but  afterward  murdered  it  in  her  pres 
ence. 

Next  morning  the  Indians  again  divided  and  re 
turned  home — Little  Crow,  with  his  party,  by  way  of 
the  Lower  Agency,  which  he  reached  that  night. 

One  of  the  scouts,  while  riding  along,  was  startled 
by  his  horse  jumping  aside.  He  looked  for  the  cause, 
and  saw  a  white  man  lying  in  a  pile  of  grass,  which 


THE   WAR   PARTY   TO   THE   BIG   WOODS.         141 

he  had  pulled  up  and  heaped  around  him  for  conceal 
ment.  Close  to  him  were  ears  of  green  corn  partially 
eaten.  He  was  a  young  man ;  his  hands  were  small ; 
his  hair  was  long  and  fair ;  but  his  garments  were  tat 
tered  and  torn  with  long  journey  ings,  and  the  face 
was  haggard  and  pale.  He  was  asleep,  with  his  cheek 
resting  on  his  hand ;  so  soundly  asleep,  so  intensely 
engaged,  perhaps,  in  happy  dreams — for  thus,  some 
times,  does  our  nature  compensate  for  the  sufferings 
of  our  wakeful  hours — that  the  trampling  of  the  In 
dian's  horse  did  not  arouse  him.  "What  do  you 
here,  my  friend  ?"  sounded  in  his  ear  in  the  loud  voice 
of  the  savage.  The  sleeper  raised  his  head  and  gazed 
with  startled  apprehension  in  the  face  of  his  threaten 
ing  foe,  whose  presence  he  had  shunned  with  bated 
breath  for  many  a  weary  league ;  and  before  that  ex 
pression  had  time  even  to  change,  the  whirring  axe 
dashed  out  the  brains  which  gave  it  life.  Then  the 
murderer,  dismounting,  with  his  knife  cut  off  the 
head ;  but  even  then  that  startled  look  did  not  change, 
for  death  had  frozen  it  there,  and  nothing  but  corrup 
tion's  effacing  hand  could  sweep  it  away.  The  shud 
dering  half-breeds  who  followed  afterward  passed  by 
on  the  other  side,  and  Crow  said,  "  Poor  fellow !  his 
life  ought  to  have  been  spared  ;  he  was  too  starved  to 
have  done  us  harm."  But  they  left  it  there  unbur- 
ied,  in  its  pool  of  blood,  staring  upward  through  the 
gathering  darkness  with  its  fixed,  wild  eyes,  alone  in 
the  vast  desolation,  ringed  by  distant  skies,  there  to 
remain  until  Nature,  by  storm  and  frost,  should  trans 
form  it  to  original  clay,  and  by  the  blessed  sunlight 
"  reconcile  it  to  herself  again  with  the  sweet  oblivion 
of  flowers." 


142  THE   SIOUX  WAR  AND   MASSACRE. 

Fort  Abercrombie  had  been  in  a  continued  state  of 
siege  by  the  Sissetons  since  the  25th  of  August,  and 
communication  with  it  cut  off,  but  the  remainder  of 
the  country  had  been  but  little  visited  by  the  Indians 
since  they  left  New  Ulm  on  the  24th  of  August ;  and 
this  fact,  and  the  presence  of  the  force  on  the  frontier, 
had  quieted  the  fears  of  the  people,  and  induced  many 
to  return  to  their  homes ;  but  the  attacks  at  Birch 
Coolie,  Acton,  Hutchinson,  Forest  City,  and  the  mas 
sacre  of  citizens  at  Hilo,  twenty  miles  above  St.  Pe 
ter's,  and  in  the  Butternut  Valley,  far  within  Sibley's 
lines,  occurring  on  the  2d,  3d,  and  4th  of  September, 
threw  the  whole  country  again  into  the  most  intense 
excitement.  Portions  even  of  Eamsey  County  was 
depopulated,  and  citizens  on  the  outskirts  of  St.  Paul 
moved  into  the  interior  of  the  city.  General  Sibley's 
family,  living  in  Mendota,  went  one  night  to  Fort 
Snelling  for  protection.  Far  and  wide  the  wild  news 
spread,  like  the  wrath  of  fire  racing  on  the  wings  of 
the  wind.* 

*  On  the  3d  of  September  Fort  Abercrombie  was  attacked  in  fore  3 
by  several  hundred  Sissetons  and  Yanktonais, 


THE   CAPTIVES. 


OF  THE 

i-'NIVERSITY 

OF 


CHAPTER  X. 

THE    CAPTIVES. 

COLONEL  SIBLEY  was  compelled  to  remain  many 
days  inactive  at  Fort  Eidgely  for  want  of  ammunition 
and  supplies  ;  nor  did  the  Indians  commit  any  extens 
ive  outrages  in  the  mean  time,  for  the  reason  that  a 
correspondence  was  being  carried  on  for  the  delivery 
of  the  captives  and  a  cessation  of  hostilities. 

Little  Crow,  could  he  have  followed  his  own  incli 
nations,  would  have  been  willing,  even  at  the  com 
mencement  of  the  outbreak,  to  have  made  terms  of 
peace.  He  did  not  join  in  the  war  as  a  matter  of 
choice,  but  was  forced  into  it  by  circumstances,  as  has 
already  been  shown.  His  reputation  was  that  of  a 
great  liar,  but  he  was  not  naturally  a  cruel-hearted 
man.  It  is  said  that  many  an  Indian,  who  went  by 
his  door  without  sufficient  covering,  received  from  the 
chief  a  blanket,  though  he  had  to  take  it  from  his  own 
back.  He  rejoiced,  it  is  true,  that  the  traders  and  em 
ployes  of  the  government  had  been  killed,  because  he 
considered  that  they  had  been  the  cause  of  all  the 
troubles  of  his  people,  but  it  is  not  believed  that  he 
was  guilty  of  the  murder  of  any  unarmed  white  per 
son.  He  informed  Chaska  of  the  peril  of  his  friend 
Spencer,  and  tried  to  save  Myrick's  life,  and,  at  the 
risk  of  his  own,  assisted  Charles  Blair  to  escape.  He 
openly  opposed  the  slaughter  of  unarmed  settlers  and 
their  families.  At  the  agency  the  next  day  after  the 


144  THE   SIOUX  WAR  AND   MASSACRE. 

massacre  commenced,  assembling  his  warriors  togeth 
er  in  council,  he  addressed  them  as  follows : 

"  Soldiers  and  young  men,  you  ought  not  to  kill 
women  and  children.  Your  consciences  will  reproach 
you  for  it  hereafter,  and  make  you  weak  in  battle. 
You  were  too  hasty  in  going  into  the  country.  You 
should  have  killed  only  those  who  have  been  robbing 
us  so  long.  Hereafter  make  war  after  the  manner  of 
white  men." 

Desirous  as  he  might  have  been  for  the  cessation 
of  a  hopeless  contest,  he  dared  not  broach  the  subject 
in  the  beginning  to  his  braves.  The  plunder  they 
had  acquired,  the  numerous  bloody  deeds  they  had 
committed,  and  the  belief  of  success  infused  them  with 
fierce  joy,  and  determined  them  upon  a  continuance 
of  the  war.  After  the  defeat  at  Fort  Eidgely  and 
New  Ulm,  the  chief  was  more  thoroughly  convinced 
than  before  of  the  certainty  of  defeat ;  and  Joseph 
Campbell  told  the  writer  that  at  his  (Crow's)  dicta 
tion,  on  their  way  to  the  Big  Woods,  on  the  1st  of 
September,  he  wrote  letters  to  Governor  Kamsey  and 
Colonel  Sibley,  requesting  a  cessation  of  hostilities 
and  a  treaty  of  settlement,  and  that  these  letters  Crow 
exhibited  to  his  braves,  and  that  they  would  not  al 
low  them  to  be  sent. 

From  the  first  there  was  trouble  between  the  Upper 
and  Lower  Indians.  Besides  the  feeling  of  semi-hos 
tility  which  exists  between  separate  communities,  and 
especially  among  Indians,  who  are  always  quarreling 
with  one  another,  the  pride  of  the  former  was  hurt  by 
the  failure  of  the  others  to  counsel  with  them  before 
commencing  the  war.  There  was  another  ground  of 
complaint  more  serious  than  this.  The  latter  had  ac- 


THE   CAPTIVES.  145 

quired  a  large  amount  of  plunder  before  the  Upper 
Indians  came  down,  and  their  chiefs  sent  word  if  they 
would  join  in  the  war  there  should.be  an  equal  distri 
bution  of  the  spoils.  This  promise  the  braves  of  the 
Lower  Indians  refused  to  carry  out,  on  the  ground 
that  it  would  be  unfair  to  share  with  those  who  had 
clone  nothing  that  which  they  had  periled  their  lives 
to  obtain.  They  did  not  surrender  for  a  long  time 
even  that  which  belonged  to  the  half-breed  relatives 
of  the  others,  nor  until  a  "  Soldiers'  Lodge"  was  form 
ed,  and  demanded  it  in  an  interview  which  seriously 
threatened  a  bloody  termination. 

Prominent  among  the  disaffected  was  Paul  Ma-za- 
ku-ta-ma-ne,  a  civilized  Indian,  and  head  deacon  of 
Mr.  Kiggs's  church.  Paul  was  a  man  of  great  orator 
ical  powers  and  unflinching  nerve.  He  was  the  chief 
speaker  of  the  Sissetons.  Like  Crow,  and  other  intel 
ligent  and  aged  men,  he  believed  in  the  hopelessness 
of  the  contest ;  nor  was  he  at  all  chary  in  so  expressing 
himself,  for  he  had  the  protection  of  his  people,  who 
had  not  been  so  deeply  implicated  in  the  troubles  as 
the  others.  At  a  council  at  the  Lower  Agency,  soon 
after  the  Yellow  Medicine  Indians  came  down,  Paul 
made  the  following  speech  to  the  Lower  Indians : 

"  Warriors  and  young  men ! — I  am  an  Indian,  and 
you  are  Indians,  and  there  should  be  no  secrets  be 
tween  us.  Why,  then,  did  you  not  tell  us  that  you 
were  going  to  kill  the  whites  ?  All  of  us  will  have 
to  suffer  for  what  you  have  done.  The  preachers 
have  told  us  that  there  is  to  be  an  end  of  the  world. 
The  end  of  the  world  is  near  at  hand  for  the  nation 
of  the  Dakotas.  Every  Indian  knows  that  we  can 
not  live  without  the  aid  of  the  white  man.  Why, 

G- 


146  THE  SIOUX  WAR  AND  MASSACRE. 

then,  have  you  acted  like  children  ?  You  have  spok 
en,  too,  with  false  tongues.  Two  days  ago  you  sent  a 
message  by  Sha-ko-pee,  one  of  your  chiefs,  that  you 
had  laid  aside  for  us  half  of  your  plunder.  We  have 
come  to  get  it,  and  we  see  nothing.  If  you  choose  to 
act  by  yourselves  in  this  way,  every  man  must  do  the 
same,  and  henceforth  I  shall  think  and  look  out  for 
myself." 

Little  Crow  was  statesman  enough  to  know  that  a 
main  lever  to  the  procurement  of  peace  was  the  pros 
ecution  of  a  formidable  war ;  and  he  was  Indian 
enough  to  desire,  if  peace  was  not  obtained,  to  inflict 
as  much  injury  as  possible  upon  his  opponents.  Pol 
icy,  therefore,  required  that  the  Upper  Indians  should 
be  encouraged  and  conciliated,  and  their  aid  secured. 

To  enforce  his  ideas  he  had  a  tongue  of  most  per 
suasive  power.  "I  am  an  orator!"  said  Bed  Jacket, 
proudly ;  "  I  was  born  an  orator  !"  Not  less  sensible 
of  his  gift  was  the  Sioux  chieftain.  At  the  councils 
years  before,  when  other  Indians  were  endeavoring  to 
make  themselves  understood,  the  knowledge  of  his 
own  superior  ability  would  manifest  itself  in  his  coun 
tenance,  and  the  superbly  contemptuous  manner  with 
which  he  would  wrap  his  blanket  around  him  and 
stride  away  was  a  subject  of  remark  among  the  white 
lookers-on.  The  Eev.  Dr.  Williamson,  the  oldest  liv 
ing  missionary  among  the  Sioux,  has  stated  that, 
though  he  knew  Little  Crow's  complicity  in  the  war, 
he  would  almost  have  been  afraid  to  have  met  him, 
for  fear  he  would  have  convinced  him  of  his  spotless 
innocence.  Paul's  speech  produced  some  effect  among 
his  people,  but  it  was  done  away  with  by  Crow,  who 
addressed  them  at  length,  telling  them  that  they  could 


THE   CAPTIVES. 

easily  conquer  the  whites ;  that  there  was  plenty  more 
plunder  in  the  country ;  and  that  all  they  had  to  do 
was  to  persevere,  and  they  could  camp  the  next  win 
ter  with  their  squaws  in  St.  Paul.  He  then  read  to 
them  a  letter  which  Jo.  Campbell,  at  his  dictation,  had 
written  to  the  English  at  Pembina.  The  letter  said : 

"Our  fathers  have  told  us  that  when  the  English 
fought  the  Americans  the  Sioux  helped  them,  and 
captured  a  cannon,  which  they  gave  to  them,  and 
which  was  called  the  '  Little  Dakota.'  Do  you  recol 
lect  this  ?  We  have  helped  you  when  you  were  in 
trouble.  My  own  grandfather  periled  his  life  in  your 
cause.  Now  we  are  in  difficulty,  and  want  that  can 
non  and  your  assistance.  "We  shall  soon  send  men  to 
council  with  y(m.  and  to  bring  the  cannon ;  and  we 
want  you  also  to  give  us  plenty  of  powder  and  lead. 
With  these  we  can  defeat  the  Americans." 

Colonel  Sibley,  on  leaving  the  battle-ground  at 
Birch  Coolie  with  a  view  of  obtaining  the  release  of 
the  captives,  had  attached  to  a  stake  a  communication 
in  the  following  words  : 

"If  Little  Crow  has  any  proposition  to  make, let  him  send  a  half- 
breed  to  me,  and  he  shall  be  protected  in  and  out  of  camp. 

"  H.  H.  SIBLEY,  Col.  Com'g  Mil.  Ex'n." 

This  was  found  and  delivered  to  Crow  on  his  re 
turn  from  Hutchinson,  and  he  at  once  dispatched,  with 
the  consent  of  his  braves,  whom  the  Birch  Coolie  af 
fair  had  disheartened,  two  mixed  bloods  under  a  flag 
of  truce,  with  a  letter,  of  which  the  following  is  sub 
stantially  a  copy : 

"  Yellow  Medicine,  September  7th,  1862. 

"DEAR  SIR, — For  what  reason  we  have  commenced  this  war  I 
will  tell  you.  It  is  on  account  of  Major  Galbraith.  We  made  a 


148  THE  SIOUX  WAR  AND   MASSACRE. 

treaty  with  the  government,  and  beg  for  what  we  do  get,  and  can't 
get  that  till  our  children  are  dying  with  hunger.  It  is  the  traders 
who  commenced  it.  Mr.  A.  J.  Myrick  told  the  Indians  that  they 
would  eat  grass  or  dirt.  Then  Mr.  Forbes  told  the  Lower  Sioux  that 
they  were  not  men.  Then  Roberts  was  working  with  his  friends  to 
defraud  us  out  of  our  moneys.  If  the  young  braves  have  pushed  the 
white  men,  I  have  done  this  myself.  So  I  want  you  to  let  Governor 
Ramsey  know  this.  I  have  a  great  many  prisoners,  women  and  chil 
dren.  It  ain't  all  our  fault.  The  Winnebagoes  were  in  the  engage 
ment,  and  two  of  them  were  killed.  I  want  you  to  give  me  an  an 
swer  by  the  bearer.  All  at  present. 

his 
' '  Yours  truly,  Friend  Little  x  Crow." 

mark. 
Addressed,  "  Gov.  H.  H.  Sibley,  Esq.,  Fort  Ridgely." 

By  these  messengers  Colonel  Sibley  sent  the  follow 
ing  reply : 

"  LITTLE  CROW, — You  have  murdered  many  of  our  people  without 
any  sufficient  cause.  Return  me  the  prisoners  kinder  a  flag  of  truce, 
and  I  will  talk  with  you  then  like  a  man. 

"H.  H.  SIBLEY,  Col.  com'g  Mil.  Exp'n." 

On  the  12th  of  September,  the  same  messengers  who 
had  appeared  on  the  previous  occasion  made  a  second 
entry  into  camp  as  bearers  of  dispatches  from  the 
same  source  as  before.  The  following  is  a  literal  copy 
of  the  communication : 

"  Red  Iron  Tillage,  or  May  awaken. 
"  To  lion  H  H  Sibley 

"we  have  in  mawakanton  band  One  Hundred  and  fifty  five  pres- 
oners — not  includ  the  Sisiton  &  warpeton  presoners,  then  we  are  wait 
ing  for  the  Sisiton  what  we  are  going  to  do  whit  the  prisoners  they 
are  coming  doun.  they  are  at  Lake  quiparle  now.  The  words  that 
il  to  the  govrment  il  want  to  here  from  him  also,  and  I  want  to  know 
from  you  as  a  friend  what  way  that  il  can  make  peace  for  my  people 
— in  regard  to  prisoners  they  fair  with  our  chilldren  or  our  self  jist  as 
well  as  us  Your  truly  friend  LITTLE  CROW 

"  per  A  J  Campbell" 

To  this  communication  Colonel  Sibley  penned  the 


THE   CAPTIVES.  149 

following  reply,  and  sent  it  forward  by  the  messengers 
of  Little  Crow  upon  their  return  to  the  encampment 
of  that  chief: 

"  Head-quarters  Military  Expedition,  September  12, 1862. 
"  To  Little  Crow,  Sioux  Chief: 

"I  have  received  your  letter  of  to-day.  You  have  not  done  as  I 
wished  in  giving  up  to  me  the  prisoners  taken  by  your  people.  It 
would  be  better  for  you  to  do  so.  I  told  you  I  had  sent  your  former 
letter  to  Governor  Ramsey,  but  I  have  not  yet  had  time  to  receive  a 
reply.  You  have  allowed  your  young  men  to  commit  nine  murders 
since  you  wrote  your  first  letter.  That  is  not  the  way  for  you  to  make 
peace.  H.  H.  SIBLEY,  Col.  com'g  Mil.  Exp'n." 

At  the  same  time  that  the  last  letter  was  received 
from  Little  Crow,  Mr.  Eobertson,  one  of  the  messen 
gers  from  that  chief,  brought  privately  and  in  a  clan 
destine  manner  the  following  note  from  Wabashaw 
and  Taopee,  one  of  the  Farmer  Indians : 

"Mayawakan,  September  10th,  1862. 
"  Col.  II.  II.  Sibley,  Fort  Ridgely : 

"DEAR  SIR, — You  know  that  Little  Crow  has  been  opposed  to  me 
in  every  thing  that  our  people  have  had  to  do  with  the  whites.  He 
has  been  opposed  to  every  thing  in  the  form  of  civilization  or  Christi 
anity.  I  have  always  been  in  favor  of,  and  of  late  years  have  done 
every  thing  of  the  kind  that  has  been  offered  to  us  by  the  government 
and  other  good  white  people — he  has  now  got  himself  into  trouble 
that  we  know  he  can  never  get  himself  out  of,  and  he  is  trying  to  in 
volve  those  few  of  us  that  are  still  the  friend  of  the  American  in  the 
murder  of  the  poor  whites  that  have  been  settled  in  the  border,  but 
I  have  been  kept  back  by  threats  that  I  should  be  killed  if  I  did  any 
thing  to  help  the  whites ;  but  if  you  will  now  appoint  some  place 
for  me  to  meet  you,  myself  and  the  few  friends  that  I  have  will  get 
all  the  prisoners  that  we  can,  and  with  our  family  go  to  whatever 
place  you  will  appoint  for  us  to  meet.  I  would  say  further  that  the 
mouth  of  the  Red-Wood,  Candiohi,  on  the  north  side  of  the  Minne 
sota,  or  the  head  of  the  Cotton-wood  River — one  of  these  places,  I 
think,  would  be  a  good  place  to  meet.  Return  the  messenger  as  quick 
as  possible.  We  have  not  much  time  to  spare. 

"Your  true  friends,  WABASHAW, 

TAOPEE." 


150  THE   SIOUX  WAR  AND   MASSACRE. 

To  tliis  letter  Colonel  Sibley  returned  by  the  same 
messenger  the  following  answer : 

u  Head-quarters  Military  Indian  Expedition,  September  12th,  1862. 
"  To  Wabashaw  and  Taopee  : 

"I  have  received  your  private  message.  I  have  come  up  here 
with  a  large  force  to  punish  the  murderers  of  my  people.  It  is  not 
my  purpose  to  injure  any  innocent  person.  If  you  and  others  who 
have  not  been  concerned  in  the  murders  and  expeditions  will  gather 
yourselves,  with  all  the  prisoners,  on  the  prairie  in  full  sight  of  my 
troops,  and  when  a  white  flag  is  displayed  by  you  a  white  flag  will  be 
hoisted  in  my  camp,  and  then  you  can  come  forward  and  place  your 
self  under  my  protection.  My  troops  will  be  all  mounted  in  two  days' 
time,  and  in  three  days  from  this  day  I  expect  to  march.  There 
must  be  no  attempt  to  approach  my  column  or  my  camp  except  in 
open  day,  and  with  a  flag  of  truce  conspicuously  displayed.  I  shall 
be  glad  to  receive  all  true  friends  of  the  whites,  with  as  many  prison 
ers  as  they  can  bring,  and  I  am  powerful  enough  to  crush  all  who  at 
tempt  to  oppose  my  march,  and  to  punish  those  who  have  washed 
their  hands  in  innocent  blood.  I  sign  myself  the  friend  of  all  who 
were  friends  of  your  great  American  Father. 

"H.  H.  SIBLET,  Colonel  commanding  Expedition." 

"YVabashaw  and  Taopee  were  Lower  Indians,  and 
dared  not  do  any  thing  openly  in  favor  of  a  delivery 
of  the  prisoners ;  but  there  began  now  a  fierce  con 
troversy  on  the  subject  between  a  part  of  the  Upper 
Indians,  headed  by  Paul,  and  the  others.  The  Lower 
Indians  saw  from  Colonel  Sibley 's  letters  that  he  de 
manded  an  unconditional  surrender  of  the  captives, 
and  that  he  would  not  make  terms  by  which  any  of 
the  guilty  might  escape,  and,  knowing  that  they  were 
all  deeply  implicated,  determined  that  the  captives 
should  share  whatever  fate  they  suffered.  Paul 
thought,  if  the  Upper  Indians  could  get  possession  of 
the  captives  and  deliver  them  to  the  whites,  most  of 
them  would  escape  with  impunity.  He  sought  to  de 
tach  them  from  the  others,  and  make  them  a  unit 


THE   CAPTIVES.  151 

on  this  point,  and,  to  accomplish  it,  cunningly  fanned 
the  elements  of  separation  which  already  existed. 

While  the  discussion  proceeded,  the  Lower  Indians, 
in  order  to  counsel  about  the  matter,  made  a  feast,  and 
invited  the  others  to  attend.  Nearly  all  the  Annuity 
Sioux  were  present.  The  following  speeches  were 
made.  Mazza-wa-mnu-na,  of  Shakopee's  band,  a  Low 
er  Indian,  made  the  first  speech. 

"  You  men  who  are  in  favor  of  leaving  us  and  de 
livering  up  the  captives,  talk  like  children.  You  be 
lieve,  if  you  do  so,  the  whites  will  think  you  have  act 
ed  as  their  friends,  and  will  spare  your  lives.  They 
will  not,  and  you  ought  to  know  it.  You  say  that 
the  whites  are  too  strong  for  us,  and  that  we  will  all 
have  to  perish.  Well,  by  sticking  together  and  fight 
ing  the  whites,  we  will  live,  at  all  events,  for  a  few 
days,  when,  by  the  course  you  propose,  we  would 
die  at  once.  Let  us  keep  the  prisoners  with  us,  and 
let  them  share  our  fate.  .  That  is  all  the  advice  I  have 
to  give." 

Kda-in-yan-ka,  Wabashaw's  son-in-law,  and  a  sol 
dier  of  Crow's  band,  spoke  next  as  follows : 

"  I  am  for  continuing  the  war,  and  am  opposed  to 
the  delivery  of  the  prisoners.  I  have  no  confidence 
that  the  whites  will  stand  by  any  agreement  they 
make  if  we  give  them  up.  Ever  since  we  treated 
with  them  their  agents  and  traders  have  robbed  and 
cheated  us.  Some  of  our  people  have  been  shot, 
some  hung ;  others  placed  upon  floating  ice  and 
drowned ;  and  many  have  been  starved  in  their  pris 
ons.  It  was  not  the  intention  of  the  nation  to  kill 
any  of  the  whites  until  after  the  four  men  returned 
from  Acton  and  told  what  they  had  done.  When 


152  THE  SIOUX  WAR  AND   MASSAGKE. 

they  did  this,  all  the  young  men  became  excited,  and 
commenced  the  massacre.  The  older  ones  would 
have  prevented  it  if  they  could,  but  since  the  treaties 
they  have  lost  all  their  influence.  We  may  regret 
what  has  happened,  but  the  matter  has  gone  too  far  to 
be  remedied.  We  have  got  to  die.  Let  us,  then,  kill 
as  many  of  the  whites  as  possible,  and  let  the  prison 
ers  die  with  us." 

Paul  was  the  next  speaker.  A  great  many  Indians 
were  present ;  and  as  he  was  anxious  that  all  should 
hear,  he  stood  up  on  a  barrel,  and  spoke  in  a  loud 
voice  as  follows : 

"I  am  going  to  tell  you  what  I- think,  and  what  I 
am  ready  to  do,  now  and  hereafter.  You,  M'dewa- 
kanton  and  Wahpekuta  Indians,  have  been  with  the 
white  men  a  great  deal  longer  than  the  Upper  Indians, 
yet  I,  who  am  an  Upper  Indian,  have  put  on  white 
men's  clothes,  and  consider  myself  now  a  white  mar,. 
I  was  very  much  surprised  to  hear  that  you  had  been 
killing  the  settlers,  for  you  have  had  the  advice  of  the 
preachers  for  so  many  years.  Why  did  you  not  tell 
us  you  were  going  to  kill  them  ?  I  ask  you  the  ques^ 
tion  again,  Why  did  you  not  tell  us  ?  You  make  no 
answer.  The  reason  was,  if  you  had  done  so,  and  we 
had  counseled  together,  you  would  not  have  been  able 
to  have  involved  our  young  men  with  you.  When 
we  older  men  heard  of  it  we  were  so  surprised  that  we 
knew  not  what  to  do.  By  your  involving  our  young 
men  without  consulting  us  you  have  done  us  a  great 
injustice.  I  am  now  going  to  tell  you  something  you 
don't  like.  You  have  gotten  our  people  into  this  dif 
ficulty  through  your  incitements  to  its  rash  young 
soldiers  without  a  council  being  called  and  our  con 
sent  obtained,  and  I  shall  use  all  the  means  I  can  to 


THE   CAPTIVES.  158 

get  them  out  of  it  without  reference  to  you.  I  am 
opposed  to  their  continuing  this  war,  or  of  committing 
farther  outrages,  and  I  warn  them  not  to  do  it.  I 
have  heard  a  great  many  of  you  say  that  you  were 
brave  men,  and  could  whip  the  whites.  This  is  a  lie. 
Persons  who  will  cut  women  and  children's  throats 
are  squaws  and  cowards.  You  say  the  whites  are  not 
brave.  You  will  see.  They  will  not,  it  is  true,  kill 
women  and  children,  as  you  have  done,  but  they  will 
fight  you  who  have  arms  in  your  hands.  I  am 
.ashamed  of  the  way  that  you  have  acted  toward  the 
captives.  Fight  the  whites  if  you  desire  to,  but  do  it 
like  brave  men.  Give  me  the  captives,  and  I  will 
carry  them  to  Fort  Eidgely.  I  hear  one  of  you  say 
that  if  I  take  them  there  the  soldiers  will  shoot  me. 
I  will  take  the  risk.  I  am  not  afraid  of  death,  but  I 
am  opposed  to  the  way  you  act  toward  the  prisoners. 
If  any  of  you  have  the  feelings  of  men,  you  will  give 
them  up.  You  may  look  as  fierce  at  me  as  you  please, 
but  I  shall  ask  you  once,  twice,  and  ten  times  to  de 
liver  these  women  and  children  to  their  friends.  That 
is  all  I  have  to  say." 

White  Lodge's  eldest  son,  one  of  those  engaged  in 
the  Lake  Shetek  massacre,  was  the  fourth  speaker. 
He  said : 

"  I  am  an  Upper  Indian,  but  I  am  opposed  to  what 
Paul  advises.  I  hope  our  people  will  not  agree  with 
him.  "We  must  all  die  in  battle,  or  perish  with  hun 
ger,  and  let  the  captives  suffer  what  we  suffer." 

This  was  all  that  was  said  in  this  council.  Paul 
had  no  other  speaker  to  assist  him,  and  the  Lower  In 
dians  would  not  consent  that  the  captives  should  be 
delivered. 

G2 


154  THE   SIOUX  WAR  AND   MASSACRE. 

Paul  went  home  and  communicated  the  result  to 
those  who  coincided  with  him,  and  by  their  advice  he 
killed  an  ox  and  invited  the  Indians  to  another  feast 
and  council.  They  met,  and  a  similar  discussion  took 
place,  in  which  Paul,  in  addition  to  what  he  had  for 
merly  stated,  said  that  the  captives  should  not  be  tak 
en  into  the  battle,  as  some  of  them  threatened ;  that 
if  he  had  to  die,  as  they  said  he  must,  he  would  die  in 
endeavoring  to  deliver  them ;  and  that,  as  one  third 
of  the  Upper  Indians  would  stand  by  him  in  this,  they 
had  better  deliver  them,  if  they  desired  to  prevent  a 
quarrel  among  themselves. 

The  danger  of  collision  was  imminent.  Had  it  oc 
curred,  the  prisoners  would  all  have  been  murdered. 
The  Upper  Indians,  who  were  opposed  to  a  junction 
with  the  Lower  ones,  formed  a  Soldiers'  Lodge,  and 
commanded  them  not  to  proceed  any  farther  into 
their  country ;  and  at  Bed  Iron's  village,  that  chief, 
and  a  hundred  and  fifty  Sissetons  on  horseback,  form 
ed  a  line  in  front  of  their  column,  and  fired  their  guns 
off  as  a  signal  to  halt.  They  were  afraid  that  they 
were  going  through  to  Big  Stone  Lake,  and  leave 
them  to  stand  the  brunt  of  the  rage  of  the  whites ;  for 
they  had  said  at  first  that  they  would  make  a  stand  at 
Yellow  Medicine,  and  die  there  if  necessary. 

On  being  assured  that  they  would  not  go  as  far  as 
Lac  qui  Parle,  and  giving  Eed  Iron's  men  some  of 
their  plunder,  the  chief  allowed  them  to  camp  at  a 
spot  which  he  selected.  The  plunder  was  at  first  re 
fused,  and  only  a  small  portion  turned  over,  and  that 
under  a  threat  from  Ked  Iron  and  his  men,  that  un 
less  it  was  done,  when  Standing  Buffalo,  who  was  on 
his  w&y,  came  down  with  the  other  Sissetons,  they 


THE   CAPTIVES. 


155 


would  join  together  and  take  the  prisoners  by  force, 
and  make  peace  with  the  whites,  and  leave  the  others 
to  shift  for  themselves. 

At  this  time  the  prisoners  stood  in  great  peril,  be 
cause  many  of  the  Lower  Indians  were  in  favor  of 
killing  them  to  remove  the  inducement  they  offered 
to  the  others  to  separate  and  make  peace.  As  an 
additional  argument,  they  said  that  the  whites  had 
starved  them  before,  and  that  there  was  no  use  to 
take  the  bread  from  their  own  mouths  to  feed  so  many 
captives. 


156  THE   SIOUX  WAR  AND   MASSACEE. 

When  Standing  Buffalo  and  his  warriors  arrived, 
another  council  was  called.  The  Sissetons  were 
ranged  on  one  side,  the  Wahpetons  on  another,  and 
the  Lower  Indians  bj  themselves.  Paul  was  the  first 
speaker.  He  said : 

"  Soldiers  and  young  men  of  the  Sissetons  ! — I  told 
the  Lower  Indians  my  mind  before  your  arrival,  and 
am  now  going  to  repeat  what  I  have  said  in  your 
hearing.  First  of  all,  they  commenced  war  upon  the 
whites  without  letting  us  know  any  thing  about  it. 
The  Sissetons  didn't  hear  of  it  until  several  days  aft- 
•erward.  Why  should  we  assist  them?  We  are  un 
der  no  obligations  to  do  so.  I  am  part  Sisseton  and 
part  Wahpeton,  and  I  know  that  they  have  never  in 
terested  themselves  in  our  affairs.  When  we  went  to 
war  against  the  Chippeways  they  never  helped  us. 

"  Lower  Indians ! — You  are  fools.  We  want  noth 
ing  to  do  with  you.  We  belong  to  the  same  nation, 
but  you  started  the  massacre  without  telling  us  about 
it,  and  have  bribed  our  young  men  to  kill  the  whites, 
and  thought  that  by  so  doing  you  could  involve  us 
all  in  the  same  trouble.  You  are  mistaken.  You 
must  give  up  the  prisoners,  or  we  will  fight  you.  I 
and  a  hundred  others  have  made  up  our  minds  to 
wait  here  for  the  soldiers." 

Some  of  the  younger  Indians,  who  were  fully  arm 
ed,  made  so  many  angry  demonstrations  here  that  ifc 
was  feared  that  the  council  would  have  a  bloody  term 
ination  ;  but  they  were  persuaded  to  leave  the  grounds, 
and,  after  quiet  was  restored, Paul  continued: 

"  I  want  to  know  from  you  Lower  Indians  whether 
you  were  asleep  or  crazy.  In  fighting  the  whites,  you 
are  fighting  the  thunder  and  lightning.  You  will  all 


THE   CAPTIVES.  157 

be  killed  off.  You  might  as  well  try  to  bail  out  the 
waters  of  the  Mississippi  as  to  whip  them.  You  say 
you  can  make  a  treaty  with  the  British  government. 
That  is  impossible.  Have  you  not  yet  come  to  your 
senses?  They  are  also  white  men,  and  neighbors 
and  friends  to  the  soldiers.  They  are  ruled  by  a  pet 
ticoat,  and  she  has  the  tender  heart  of  a  squaw.  What 
will  she  do  for  men  who  have  committed  the  murders 
you  have?  Your  young  men  have  brought  a  great 
misfortune  upon  us.  Let  them  go  and  fight  the  sol 
diers.  But  you,  who  want  to  live  and  not  die,  come 
with  me.  I  am  going  to  shake  hands  with  the  whites. 
I  hear  some  of  your  young  men  talking  very  loud, 
and  boasting  that  you  have  killed  so  many  women 
and  children.  That's  not  brave ;  it  is  cowardly.  Go 
and  fight  the  soldiers.  That's  brave.  You  dare  not. 
"When  you  see  their  army  coming  on  the  plains,  you 
will  faint  with  fright.  You  will  throw  down  your 
arms,  and  fly  in  one  direction  and  your  women  in  an 
other,  and  this  winter  you  will  all  starve.  You  will 
see  that  my  words  will  come  true.  Go  back  from 
the  lands  of  the  Sissetons.  They  have  not  buffaloes 
enough  for  themselves,  and  can  not  feed  you.  Fight 
the  whites  on  your  reservation  if  you  are  not  afraid 
of  them.  Make  your  boasts  good,  and  stop  your  lies." 

Here  the  excitement  of  the  Lower  Indians  became 
so  great  that  some  of  them  cried  out,  "  Kill  him !  kill 
him!"  But  Paul,  unfaltering,  continued  in  a  loud 
voice : 

"  Some  of  you  say  you  will  kill  me.  Bluster  away. 
I  am  not  afraid.  I  am  not  a  woman,  and  I  shall  not 
die  alone.  There  are  three  hundred  around  me  whom 
you  will  also  have  to  kill  before  you  have  finished." 


OF 


158  THE   SIOUX  WAR  AND   MASSACRE. 

Wabashaw's  son-in-law,  Kda-in-yan-ka,  made  the 
next  speech.  He  said : 

"We  all  heard  what  Paul  said  the  other  day,  and 
we  have  had  several  councils  to  decide  what  to  do, 
but  have  arrived  at  no  conclusion,  and  we  desire  a  lit 
tle  longer  time  to  think  over  it.  Before  the  treaties 
the  old  men  determined  these  questions,  but  now  I 
have  no  influence,  nor  have  the  chiefs.  The  young 
soldiers  must  decide  it." 

Wakin-yan-to-ci-ye,  of  Crow's  band,  was  the  next 
speaker.  He  said : 

"  You  have  asked  for  the  prisoners  several  times, 
and  you  must  make  up  your  minds  not  to  ask  any 
more.  We  are  determined  that  the  captives  shall  die 
with  us." 

Mah-pi-ya-na-xka-xka,  a  soldier  of  the  Lac  qui 
Parle  band,  made  the  next  speech.  He  spoke  as  fol 
lows: 

"  I  am  an  Upper  Indian,  and  have  heard  what  Paul 
has  said,  and  do  not  agree  with  him.  He  is  for  giv 
ing  up  the  captives  and  making  peace.  It  can  not  be 
done.  We  have  gone  too  far.  Since  the  treaties, 
when  did  we  do  the  least  thing,  either  in  stealing  cat 
tle  or  in  harming  a  white  man,  that  we  did  not  get 
punished  for?  Now  the  Indians  have  been  killing 
men,  women,  and  children,  how  many  God  only 
knows,  and  if  we  give  ourselves  up  we  shall  all  be 
hung.  I  have  heard  that  there  were  four  stores  full 
of  goods  for  us  here.  I  come  and  find  nothing.  How 
is  this?" 

Little  Crow  was  the  next  speaker.     He  said : 

"  Paul  wants  to  make  peace.  It  is  impossible  to  do 
so,  if  we  desired.  Did  we  ever  do  the  most  trifling 


THE   CAPTIVES.  159 

thing,  and  the  whites  not  hang  us?  Now  we  have 
been  killing  them  by  hundreds  in  Dakota,  Minnesota, 
and  Iowa,  and  I  know  that  if  they  get  us  into  their 
power  they  will  hang  every  one  of  us.  As  for  me,  I 
will  kill  as  many  of  them  as  I  can,  and  fight  them  till 
I  die.  Do  not  think  you  will  escape.  There  is  not 
a  band  of  Indians  from  the  Bed- Wood  Agency  to  Big 
Stone  Lake  that  has  not  had  some  of  its  members  em 
broiled  in  the  war.  I  tell  you  we  must  fight  and  per 
ish  together.  A  man  is  a  fool  and  a  coward  who 
thinks  otherwise,  and  who  will  desert  his  nation  at 
such  a  time.  Disgrace  not  yourselves  by  a  surrender 
to  those  who  will  hang  you  up  like  dogs,  but  die,  if 
die  you  must,  with  arms  in  your  hands,  like  warriors 
and  braves  of  the  Dakota." 

Standing  Buffalo,  hereditary  chief  of  the  Upper  Sis- 
setons,  spoke  next,  as  follows : 

"I  am  a  young  man,  but  I  have  always  felt  friend 
ly  toward  the  whites  because  they  were  kind  to  my 
father.  You  have  brought  me  into  great  danger 
without  my  knowing  of  it  beforehand.  By  killing 
the  whites,  it  is  just  as  if  you  had  waited  for  me  in 
ambush  and  shot  me  down.  You  Lower  Indians  feel 
very  bad  because  we  have  all  got  into  trouble ;  but  I 
feel  worse,  because  I  know  that  neither  I  nor  my  peo 
ple  have  killed  any  of  the  whites,  and  that  yet  we 
have  to  suffer  for  the  guilty.  I  was  out  buffalo-hunt 
ing  when  I  heard  of  the  outbreak,  and  I  felt  as  if  I 
was  dead,  and  I  feel  so  now.  You  all  know  that  the 
Indians  can  not  live  without  the  aid  of  the  white  men, 
and  therefore  I  have  made  up  my  mind  that  Paul  is 
right,  and  my  Indians  will  stand  by  him.  We  claim 
this  reservation.  What  are  you  doing  here  ?  If  you 


160  THE   SIOUX  WAR  AND   MASSACRE. 


STANDING  BUFFALO. 


want  to  fight  the  whites,  go  back  and  fight  them. 
Leave  me  at  my  village  at  Big  Stone  Lake.  You 
sent  word  to  my  young  men  to  come  down,  and  that 
you  had  plenty  of  oxen,  and  horses,  and  goods,  and 
powder,  and  lead,  and  now  we  see  nothing.  We  are 
going  back  to  Big  Stone  Lake,  and  leave  you  to  fight 
the  whites.  Those  who  make  peace  can  say  that 
Standing  Buffalo  and  his  people  will  give  themselves 
up  in  the  spring." 

Wanata,  the  mixed  Sisseton  and  Yanktonais  chief, 
from  the  vicinity  of  Lac  Traverse,  was  the  next  speak 
er.  He  said : 


THE   CAPTIVES.  161 

"You  ask  me  to  fight  the  whites.  I  want  to  ask 
you  a  question.  You  said  you  had  plenty  of  powder 
and  lead  for  us.  Where  is  it  ?  You  make  no  answer. 
I  will.  You  have  it  all.  Go,  then,  you,  and  fight  the 
whites  with  it.  You  are  unreasonable  to  ask  me  to 
do  so,  for  two  reasons :  first,  I  have  no  powder  and 
lead ;  second,  I  can't  live  without  the  whites.  You 
have  cut  my  throat,  and  now  you  ask  my  assistance. 
You  can't  have  it.  I  am  going  home.  Above  Lac 
qui  Parle  the  country  belongs  to  us.  Stay  on  your 
own  lands  and  don't  come  on  ours.  You  can  fight, 
and  I  will  give  myself  up  in  the  spring  and  shake 
hands  with  the  whites.  I  have  finished." 

Wasou-washta  and  Wa-kein-to-wa,  Spencer's  friend, 
were  the  only  ones,  besides  Paul,  who  spoke  openly 
in  favor  of  delivering  the  prisoners.  After  this  coun 
cil  the  Lower  Indians  held  one  by  themselves,  and 
sent  four  Indians  to  Paul  to  know  if  his  party  would 
join  them  in  the  war,  and  he  gave  them  the  same  an 
swer.  Then  they  accused  him  and  the  others  of  cow 
ardice,  and  the  interview  ended  in  a  quarrel.  Paul 
also  told  them  that  he  had  heard  that  Wabashaw  and 
Taopee  had  written  a  letter  to  Colonel  Sibley,  but  they 
said  that  it  was  not  true ;  that  they  had  heard  the 
same  thing,  and  had  asked  Wabashaw  about  it,  but  he 
denied  it. 

As  time  progressed  the  excitement  increased,  and 
the  fate  of  the  captives  grew  more  hopeless.  After 
Standing  Buffalo  arrived,  a  large  number  of  Sissetons 
came  in  from  Abercrombie.  One  of  their  squaws  was 
loud  in  her  incitements  to  battle.  She  had  a  white 
man's  whiskers  tied  to  a  pole,  which  she  had  obtained 
at  that  fort,  and  flourished  over  her  head  while  she 


162  THE  SIOUX  WAR  AND  MASSACRE. 

sang  a  song  to  the  purport  that  the  whites  had  made 
the  Indians  mad,  and  that  they  would  cut  them  into 
bits. 

Little  Crow  did  not  cease  to  encourage  his  men,  for 
he  perceived  that  there  was  no  other  course  left  open 
but  battle.  He  stated  that  there  were  from  two  to 
three  thousand  British  soldiers  at  Lac  Traverse,  who 
would  soon  be  down  to  assist  them,  and  that  he  be 
lieved,  from  signs  he  had  seen  at  the  Big  Woods,  that 
the  Chippeways  were  co-operating  with  them.  He 
urged  that  the  Winnebagoes  would  also  rise  and  go 
down  the  west  side  of  the  Mississippi,  while  he  would 
take  care  of  the  country  on  the  east,  and  that  the  oth 
er  Sioux  would  capture  the  forts  on  the  Missouri. 

There  was  a  Yankton  present  who  was  a  very  flu 
ent  speaker.  He  addressed  the  Indians  at  great 
length  in  support  of  Crow's  views.  He  traced  on  the 
ground  a  map  of  the  country,  showing  the  course  of 
the  Missouri,  and  the  locality  of  the  different  forts. 
He  also  marked  out  the  ocean,  and  stated  that  a  great 
nation  was  coming  across  this  to  help  them,  and  its 
people  would  bring  them  plenty  of  ammunition. 
Crow's  brother  ridiculed  the  courage  of  the  whites, 
and  narrated,  with  much  glee,  how  he  cut  off  the  limbs 
of  the  men  with  one  stroke  of  a  cleaver,  and  that  they 
made  no  resistance,  but  stared  at  him  like  poor  dumb 
beasts.  The  young  braves  kept  themselves  in  a  high 
state  of  excitement  by  their  war  orgies.  These  they 
no  longer  conducted  on  foot,  but  upon  the  horses 
which  they  had  stolen  and  trained  to  dance. 

Other  letters,  indicating  the  condition  of  affairs  in 
the  camp,  and  the  anxiety  and  peril  of  the  captives, 
were  received  from  the  friendly  Indians  from  time  to 
time,  of  which  the  following  are  copies  : 


THE   CAPTIVES.  163 

"  Maya-\vakan,  September  14, 1862. 

"DEAR  SIR, — The  first  time  that  the  young  braves  that  brought 
the  prisoners  in  camp  I  was  opposed  to  it,  but  Crow  opposed  it  and 
other  things.  I  am  afraid  to  come  back  on  my  reserve,  but  you  will 
decide  this  for  me.  You  told  us  that  you  wanted  the  priserners,  so  we 
quit  fighting,  Some  of  the  prisoners  have  run  away  from  our  camp. 
There  is  three  parties  out,  but  when  they  come  back  we  will  quit  the 
war  for  good.  In  regard  to  half-breeds,  if  you  say  that  I  should  give 
them,  I  will  do  so.  My  friend,  you  know  Wabashaw — that  I  am  not 
a  bad  man.  I  am  a  kind-hearted  man.  I  know  myself  that  ths  poor 
women  ain't  the  blamed  for  the  fight.  I  arn  always  in  for  good. 
If  you  want  to  make  peace  with  the  Friendly  Indians,  we  want  to  hear 
from  you  in  regard  to  it,  I  am  trying  to  do  what  is  right.  I  hope 
that  you  will  do  so,  and  deal  honestly  with  us.  I  want  you  to  write 
me  a  good  letter.  his 

"Yours  truly,  WABASHAW"   x 

mark. 

"Red  Iron's  Village,  September  15th,  1862. 
41  Ex.  Governor  Sibley : 

"  HON.  SIR, — I  have  just  seen  your  letter  to  Wabaxa  and  the  oth 
er  two  chiefs.  They  intend  to  raise  the  white  flag.  It  is  our  inten 
tion  to  join  these  bands;  but  if  your  troops  do  not  reach  here  till  the 
last  of  the  week,  it  may  be  too  late  for  our  rescue.  The  Red  Iron 
and  the  lower  bands  have  held  two  councils  already  about  killing  off 
the  captives,  which  includes  the  whites,  half-breeds,  and  all  those  that 
have  dressed  like  the  whites.  I  have  tried  all  that  I  could  to  get  the 
captives  free  ;  have  held  two  councils  with  the  lower  bands,  but  Lit 
tle  Crow  won't  give  them  up.  Eight  have  come  to  me  for  protection 
till  they  can  get  better  from  their  own  people.  I  keep  them  in  my 
family.  I  have  tried  to  send  a  letter  to  you  several  times,  but  am 
watched  very  close.  This  letter,  or  rather  a  copy  of  it,  was  sent  one 
day  by  a  young  man,  but  he  could  not  get  away  from  the  other  In 
dians  in  safety,  so  he  returned.  The  half-breeds,  and  all  the  white 
captives,  are  in  the  greatest  danger,  for  they  declare  they  will  put 
them  to  death  as  soon  as  your  troops  appear.  We  shall  do  as  you 
requested  as  soon  as  practicable  (that  is,  to  raise  the  flag).  Now, 
dear  sir,  please  let  me  know  what  time  we  may  expect  you,  for  our 
lives  are  hazarded  if  we  move  before  we  can  receive  aid.  I  am  glad 
you  are  powerful  and  strong,  for,  if  God  helps,  you  will  conquer.  As 
Christians,  we  are  looking  to  him,  and  trust  he  will  send  you  to  free 
us.  We  have  held  meetings  every  Sabbath  since  the  missionaries 


164  THE  SIOUX  WAK  AND  MASSACRE. 

left.     Oh  !  deliver  us,  if  possible,  from  our  savage  foes,  and  we  shall 
try  to  show  you  how  much  we  honor  our  great  American  Father. 
"  Very  respectfully,        MA-ZA-KU-TA-MA-NE,  or  PAUL." 

"September  ISth. 

"HoN.  SIR, — We  think  it  just  to  witness  our  hands  to  the  above, 
and  also  to  state  that  this  is  the  fourth  letter  we  have  written  for  him 
to  send  to  you,  but,  as  he  said,  he  could  not  send  it.  Paul  held  a 
council  with  some  of  the  lower  chiefs,  and  talked  very  bravely  to 
them.  They  wished  to  know  if  he  was  going  to  join  the  whites,  tell 
ing  him,  at  the  same  time,  that  chiefs  had  given  themselves  up  and 
been  killed  (we  didn't  believe  it).  He  told  them  plainly  he  should 
join  them.  They  said  he  was  no  brave ;  says  Paul,  '  I  am  not  brave 
to  murder,  and  do  such  wicked  acts  as  your  people  do,  but  you  shall 
see  I  am  brave  to  do  right.'  His  life  is  in  danger  every  moment 
from  his  speech.  Paul  requests  us  again  to  urge  you  to  write  imme 
diately  when  he  may  expect  you,  so  he  can  get  his  band  ready,  if  pos 
sible,  before  the  slaughter  commences  among  the  captives.  We  dare 
not  give  our  names  in  full,  but  Rev.  Mr.  Riggs  will  know,  for  he  mar 
ried  John  and .  M.  A.  BUTLER." 

"  September  18th. 

"  The  Lower  Friendly  Indians  to  Hon.  Governor  Sibley : 
"DEAR  SIR, — We  are  in  trouble  about  putting  up  the  white  flag. 
Some  of  the  young  men  say  they  will  go  along  with  us,  and,  when 
near  enough,  will  commence  firing  at  your  troops,  so  you  see  we  are 
betrayed.  Do  let  us  know  what  we  shall  do;  we  are  in  jeopardy  ev 
ery  moment.  Great  excitement  last  night  about  killing  the  captives, 
but  nothing  done.  Please  understand  about  the  flag,  and  a  part  of 
the  soldiers  making  you  believe  we  are  the  enemies;  so  do  write 
what  we  shall  do.  We  hope  you  will  hasten  on,  and  spare  the  lives 
of  the  innocent."  (No  signature.') 

uEed  Iron's  Village,  September  19th,  1862. 
"  Colonel  I-I.  H.  Sibley  : 

"I  would  like  to  see  you  in  person  this  day,  but  I  am  in  a  hurry 
and  can  not  come,  so  I  send  you  a  letter,  which  will  answer  the  pur 
pose.  My  brother,  I  talk  to  you  on  this  paper  to  let  you  know  that  I 
have  not  forgotten  that  you  are  my  friend.  I  still  remember  it  was 
with  the  white  man's  provision  that  I  have  lived  through  the  severe 
winter ;  for  that  reason,  my  friendship  to  you  is  unshaken.  Although 


THE   CAPTIVES.  165 

I  have  known  of  one  bad  thing  this  day,  it  was  none  of  my  fault.  I 
had  nothing  whatever  to  do  with  it.  I  came  down  here  to  this  place 
to  find  out  who  disturbed  the  peace  between  us,  and  for  what  reason. 
I  have  now  found  out,  and  am  in  a  hurry  to  return.  The  nation  is 
about  to  sacrifice  itself  for  the  sake  of  a  few  foolish  young  men.  As 
for  me,  my  great  Father  wished  me  to  live,  therefore  he  gave  me  pro 
visions  and  money ;  and  now  it  seems  as  though  they  had  suddenly 
taken  it  from  me,  and  thrown  it  into  the  water.  My  heart  is  sad,  not 
only  because  I  have  not  seen  my  goods,  but  because  this  day  I  have 
seen  the  destitution  of  our  half-breeds.  They  are  our  flesh  and  blood, 
and  therefore  we  are  anxious  for  their  welfare.  My  heart  is.  still 
made  more  sad  at  the  sight  of  the  many  captives ;  but  they  are  not 
my  captives,  and,  were  my  band  strong  enough,  they  should  be  re 
leased.  My  brother,  I  want  to  say  something  which  I  hope  you  will 
regard.  I  heard  of  this  trouble  while  I  was  away  from  home,  but  did 
not  believe  it,  and  so  I  came  down  to  see  for  myself;  and  now  that  I 
have  seen  and  heard,  I  am  in  a  hurry  to  get  back,  and  tell  my  rela 
tives  the  straight  of  it.  Although  they  have  tried  to  shake  our  friend 
ship,  yet  I  am  anxious  to  renew  it,  and  let  it  be  stronger  than  ever. 
You  are  anxious  to  punish  the  offenders ;  but  I  ask  a  favor — that  is, 
to  wait  on  me  until  I  have  gathered  my  people  and  relatives  togeth 
er,  for  they  are  many  and  scattered.  I  ask  this  favor  because  I  am 
fearful  lest  your  hurry  should  fail  my  intentions. 

"  TATANKA  NAJIN  (Standing  Buffalo),  Chief  of  the  Sissetons." 

"  Hed  Iron's  Village,  September  24th. 
"  Ex.  Gov.  Sibley :  Hon.  Sir : 

"I  have  written  some  three  or  four  letters  to  you,  but  never  could 
send  them.  From  the  first  I  was  anxious  to  extend  and  renew  our 
friendship,  and  that  of  all  the  whites,  and  also  are  my  friends,  the 
Lower  chiefs,  that  wish  for  peace.  I  held  two  councils  as  soon  as  the 
enemies  came  to  our  peaceful  republic,  in  order  to  get  the  captives  free, 
willing  to  hazard  my  own  life  could  I  obtain  the  liberty  of  the  poor 
captives.  The  enemy  are  holding  a  council  this  morning,  and  want 
ed  us  to  join  them.  They  are  rebels.  We  prefer  our  own  councils 
and  writing  our  own  letters.  The  captives  have  been  coming  to  us 
for  safety  until  we  have  the  greatest  number,  and  so  we  are  in  dan 
ger  of  a  battle  from  them  immediately.  Now,  dear  sir,  please  come 
right  away  without  delay,  or  we  may  all  fall  victims,  for  fight  we 
must  soon.  The  enemy  are  not  large  in  numbers,  but  you  well  know 
they  are  cruel  savages  (and  the  women,  in  the  writer's  opinion,  can 


166 


THE   SIOUX   WAK   AND   MASSACRE. 


fight  as  \vell  as  the  men).  All  the  Indians,  with  the  exception  of 
these,  are  friendly,  and,  were  we  prepared  for  defending  ourselves, 
we  should  conquer ;  and  if  you  don't  hasten,  our  women  and  all  the 
captives  will  suffer.  Yours  respectfully, 

"  MA-ZA-KU-TA-MA-NE, 
"TAOPEE,  and 
"  WAKE-WAN- AVA. 
"  Hon.  Ex.  Gov.  Sibley,  Col.  commanding. 

"This  letter  is  at  the  request  of  all  our  people.  Maza-moni  and 
Akipa  are  desirous  of  having  their  names  put  down  with  the  Friendly 
Indians,  feeling  that  they  have  had  trouble  enough,  and  are  desirous 
of  peace.  All  in  great  haste." 


LITTLE  PAUL. 


UPWARD  MARCH  AND  BATTLE  OF  WOOD  LAKE.   167 


CHAPTEE  XI. 

UPWARD  MARCH  AND  BATTLE  OF  WOOD  LAKE. 

ON  the  afternoon  of  the  18th  of  September  the 
camp  at  Fort  Eidgely  was  broken  up,  and  the  expedi 
tion,  disgusted  with  the  long  inactivity,  joyfully  start 
ed  on  its  upward  march  after  the  foe.  As  crossing 
above  might  be  attended  with  an  ambuscade,  a  boat 
was  constructed  near  the  fort,  and  the  expedition 
there  ferried  over.  Just  as  the  last  of  the  train  was 
leaving,  a  man  was  seen  coming  from  the  west.  The 
scouts  rode  toward  him  to  ascertain  who  he  was.  He 
proved  to  be  a  fugitive  German  almost  starved.  When 
they  approached  he  supposed  that  they  were  Indians, 
and  was  hacking  away  at  his  throat  with  his  knife  to 
commit  suicide,  but  the  edge  was  too  dull  to  effect  his 
purpose. 

The  first  camp  was  two  miles  above,  and  darkness 
came  on  before  we  were  all  across.  Next  morning 
we  started  with  the  dawn,  and  camped  early  in  the 
afternoon  a  few  miles  below  the  agency.  None  of  the 
enemy  appeared  during  the  day.  Some  of  the  men 
visited  the  houses  of  the  "Farmer  Indians,"  which 
were  in  the  edge  of  the  woods,  and  returned  laden 
with  buffalo  robes  and  trinkets.  A  few  miles  above 
they  found  and  buried  the  remains  of  Mr.  Prescott, 
the  government  farmer.  He  had  been  concealed  at 
the  agency  by  his -wife,  a  mixed  blood,  in  an  oven 
during  the  massacre,  and  then  started  for  the  fort. 


168  THE  SIOUX  WAR  AND   MASSACRE. 

The  Indians  met  him.  He  pleaded  long  and  earnest 
ly  for  his  life,  but  without  avail.  He  was  killed,  and 
his  head  cut  off  and  placed  upon  a  pole,  with  the  face 
toward  St.  Paul,  "in  order,"  as  his  murderers  said, 
with  grim  facetiousness,  "that  he  might  watch  for 
their  money."  He  was  an  old  man,  and  had  lived 
many  years  among  them.  Soon  after  dark  the  pres 
ence  of  Indians  was  made  manifest  by  their  firing  one 
of  the  buildings  in  the  woods  a  mile  from  the  camp. 
It  was  done  to  lure  our  men  into  an  ambush,  but  it 
failed  of  success. 

Early  the  next  morning  we  proceeded  on  our  way. 
On  passing  Prescott's  grave  we  found  several  hundred 
little  sticks  thrust  in  the  fresh  dirt,  indicating  the 
number  of  Indians  who  had  visited  it.*  All  that  day 
about  a  dozen  of  the  enemy,  well  mounted,  were  seen 
two  or  three  miles  ahead.  They  were  scouts  from  the 
camp  above  Yellow  Medicine.  Our  route  lay  over  a 
rolling  prairie.  Up  every  high  hillock  before  us  these 
scouts  would  gallop,  watch  our  movements  until  we 
approached  near,  and  then  scud  away.  All  objects 
on  a  prairie  seem  larger  by  reason  of  the  absence  of 
standards  of  comparison,  and  are  more  distinctly 
limned  against  the  sky  than  elsewhere.  The  pictur 
esque  appearance  of  these  horsemen — the  knowledge 
that  they  were  foes — the  mystery  associated  with  a 
different  race,  and  the  fact  that  they  were  probably 
possessed  of  secrets  of  movements  of  vital  importance, 
invested  them  with  strange  and  romantic  interest. 
On  a  fence  near  the  Red-Wood  River  they  left  a  mes 
sage  of  defiance,  telling  us  to  come  on,  and  that  the 
braves  were  ready  for  us  at  Yellow  Medicine.  They 

*  "  These  Indians  were  the  ones  alluded  to  in  Wabashaw's  letter. 


UPWARD  MARCH  AND  BATTLE  OF  WOOD  LAKE.   169 

also  amused  themselves  with  firing  several  bridges  to 
impede  our  progress.  These  were  smoking  when  wo 
came  up,  but  not  materially  injured. 

The  train  stopped  for  dinner  a  mile  and  a  half  from 
the  Eed-Wood  Eiver,  and  young  Myrick,  one  of  the 
scouts  (a  cousin  of  the  trader  of  that  name,  who  was 
killed  at  the  Lower  Agency),  in  company  with  anoth 
er  person,  galloped  ahead  to  the  brow  of  the  bluff 
overhanging  the  Eed-Wood  Eiver.  Here  there  was 
a  deep,  spacious,  valley -like  gorge,  a  mile  and  a  half 
across,  caused  by  the  meanderings  of  the  stream.  The 
bluffs  were  belted  thickly  with  trees,  and  in  the  val 
ley  were  large  marshes  of  tall  grass,  and  cornfields, 
and  great  patches  of  dense  underbrush,  with  rocky  ac 
clivities  rising  above  them.  On  a  number  of  these 
were  houses.  The  place  was  just  the  one  for  an  In 
dian  ambuscade.  "Where  the  horsemen  stood  there 
were  fresh  ears  of  green  corn  partially  eaten,  and 
sticks  of  kin-ne-kin-nic  from  which  the  Indians  had 
recently  whittled  the  bark. 

As  Myrick  and  his  companion  stood  there,  they  saw 
Other  Day  on  horseback  visiting  the  different  houses 
to  their  right,  and  they  immediately  observed  to  one 
another  that  he  was  committing  a  very  hazardous  and 
foolish  act,  for  it  would  be  so  easy  for  the  enemy  to 
pick  him  off.  Presently  he  rode  to  where  they  were 
standing,  and  they,  forgetting  their  comments  on  his 
conduct,  proposed  to  go  farther  up  the  valley  to  the 
house  of  John  Moore.  To  this  the  Indian  assented, 
and  the  three  forded  the  Eed-Wood,  and  rode  to  the 
foot  of  the  rocks  upon  which  the  house  was  situated. 
Here  Other  Day  fastened  his  horse  to  a  plum-tree, 
threw  himself  upon  the  ground,  and  began  eating  the 

H 


170  THE   SIOUX  WAR  AND  MASSACRE. 

rich  fruit  which  lay  in  great  abundance  below.  The 
others  followed  his  example.  In  a  few  moments  he 
ran  up  the  rocks  to  the  house,  leaving  his  horse  fast 
ened.  Myrick's  companion  said  it  was  dangerous  to 
leave  their  horses  there,  as  they  had  seen  Indians  all 
the  morning  ahead,  and,  close  to  where  they  now 
were,  had  observed  a  fresh  moccasin  track  in  the  road, 
and  plum-stones  from  which  the  fruit  had  just  been 
eaten,  and  that  it  was  best  to  have  their  horses  with 
them. 

So  saying,  he  led  his  horse  up  to  the  house,  and 
stood  holding  him  at  the  door.  Other  Day  was  then 
up  stairs.  Myrick  ran  up  presently.  He  said  he  had 
been  debating  whether  to  tie  his  horse  or  bring  him 
along,  and  had  finally  concluded  to  leave  him  there 
without  hitching.  He  then  went  up  stairs  and  left 
the  other  at  the  door.  The  rough  rocks  were  not  in 
viting,  nor  were  any  of  the  surroundings.  The  win 
dows  were  all  smashed  to  pieces,  and  the  floor  lit 
tered  with  various  articles.  On  the  outside  was  the 
trunk  belonging  to  Prescott,  whom  we  had  buried  the 
evening  before.  It  had  been  broken  open  and  emp 
tied,  and  scattered  around  were  many  letters  bearing 
his  superscription.  These  suggested  his  fate,  and  the 
presence  of  the  warriors  who  had  visited  his  grave,  and 
the  question  of  the  possibility  of  escape  if  they  saw 
them.  To  a  mind  rendered  morbidly  active  by  the 
horrors  which  had  been  enacted,  the  effect  was  some 
what  exciting.  The  expedition  was  two  miles  away, 
and  could  not  afford  relief,  and  flight  through  the  wild 
morass  was  almost  an  impossibility.  After  a  long 
search  in  the  garret,  Other  Day  and  Myrick  passed 
down  into  the  cellar;  Myrick,  as  he  did  so,  saying 


UPWARD  MARCH  AND  BATTLE  OF  WOOD  LAKE.    171 

that  it  was  a  very  foolish  proceeding,  but  that  it 
wouldn't  do  for  white  men  to  be  beaten  in  temerity 
by  an  Indian. 

They  staid  in  the  cellar  some  little  time,  when  the 
silence  was  broken  by  the  clattering  of  Myrick's  horse 
up  the  rocks.  The  horses  could  not  be  seen  from  the 
house,  nor  therefore  the  cause  of  this  proceeding  per 
ceived;  but  Myrick's  companion  immediately  cried 
out,  "  My  rick,  here  comes  your  horse  ;  there  is  some 
thing  wrong."  Both  hurried  from  the  cellar,  and 
Other  Day  ran  down  the  rocks,  then  hurried  back,  his 
face  blazing  with  excitement,  and  crying,  in  startling 
tones,  "  Sioux !  Sioux !"  seized  his  gun,  motioned  the 
others  back  toward  the  house,  as  if  they  should  there 
make  a  stand,  and  rushed  down  the  rocks.  Presently 
he  was  heard  talking  in  a  loud  voice,  and  the  others, 
no  longer  able  to  restrain  their  curiosity,  ran  to  the 
edge  of  the  eminence,  holding  their  horses,  and  there, 
four  hundred  yards  out  in  the  marsh,  were  two  In 
dians,  mounted  on  Other  Day's  horse,  which  they  had 
taken  within  fifty  feet  of  the  house.  Other  Day  was 
trying  to  call  them  back,  but  they  made  off  the  faster, 
and  then  he  discharged  his  rifle  at  them  without  ef 
fect.  Its  echoes  rang  through  the  valley,  and  were 
followed  instantly  by  two  discharges  from  Myrick  (his 
companion  had  only  a  revolver).  These  were  like 
wise  without  effect,  and  the  Indians  passed  into  the 
woods  and  made  their  escape.  Hope  of  successful 
pursuit  across  the  marsh  there  was  not,  and  if  there 
had  been,  an  ignorance  of  the  number  of  the  foe  would 
have  rendered  it  too  hazardous  an  undertaking  to  at 
tempt.  The  horse  was  gayly  decorated  with  a  red 
head-dress,  which  its  owner  had  found  in  one  of  the 


172  THE   SIOUX   WAK  AND   MASSACRE. 

houses.  It  was  a  great  prize  to  the  captors,  not  mere 
ly  for  its  value,  but  because  it  was  taken  from  one 
whom  they  hated  for  joining  the  whites,  and  of  whom 
they  were  all  afraid.  He  was  a  desperate  man  in  a 
quarrel ;  had  killed  several  of  the  tribe  years  before, 
and  went  always  armed,  so  as  not  to  be  caught  unpre 
pared.  An  Indian  afterward  stated  that  the  captors 
were  concealed  in  the  grass  while  the  three  were  eat 
ing  plums,  and  that  one  of  the  two  had  his  gun  aimed 
at  Myrick  to  shoot,  but  was  made  to  desist  by  his 
companion,  for  fear  one  of  them  would  be  shot  by 
Other  Day,  and  also  because  the  firing  would  call  the 
attention  of  our  troops. 

Then  the  three  made  their  way  toward  the  camp, 
avoiding  as  far  as  possible  the  spots  where  a  foe  might 
be  concealed.  Fearing  to  cross  at  the  ford,  as  Indians 
.would  naturally  lie  there  in  ambush,  they  endeavored 
ineffectually  to  cross  the  Ked-Wood  at  other  points. 
The  opposite  bank  was  too  steep  for  the  horses  to 
clamber.  Myrick's  companion,  when  returning  from 
the  other  shore,  caught  sight  of  some  horsemen  half  a 
mile  away,  and  pointed  them  out  to  Other  Day.  He 
jumped  upon  a  little  eminence,  looked  at  them  a  mo 
ment,  said  they  were  white  men,  then  crossed  the  riv 
er  on  a  tree  which  had  fallen  across  it,  and  took  his 
way  quickly  toward  the  train.  The  horsemen  disap 
peared  from  view  almost  immediately,  and  this  led 
the  two  to  doubt  the  correctness  of  Other  Day's  judg 
ment.  They  thought  that  they  must  have  heard  the 
guns,  and,  if  white  men,  would  ride  down  to  see  what 
the  trouble  was.  They  debated  for  some  time  what 
to  do,  but  finally  rode  over  toward  them  through  the 
tall  corn,  with  their  arms  cocked  and  ready  for  use, 


UPWARD  MARCH  AND  BATTLE  OF  WOOD  LAKE.    173 

and  were  delighted  on  finding  them  to  be  our  ad 
vanced  scouts.  They  had  not  heard  the  discharge  of 
the  guns.  Poor  Other  Day  was  now  under  a  tempo 
rary  cloud,  for  Colonel  Sibley  laughed  at  his  losing  his 
horse,  saying  the  enemy  were  too  sharp  for  him,  and 
compelled  him  to  walk.  He  was  much  chagrined,  as 
all  the  expedition  knew  him,  and  had  noticed  the 
gaudy  head-dress  of  his  horse;  but  he  simply  said 
that  when  they  neared  the  enemy  he  would  have  two 
horses  for  one. 

The  next  day  we  found  George  Gleason's  body  on 
the  prairie,  and  buried  it.  He  was  wasted  almost  to  a 
skeleton.  Two  heavy  stones  were  imbedded  in  his 
skull.  He  was  Mr.  Galbraith's  clerk  at  the  Lower 
Agency,  and  well  known  throughout  the  state. 

On  the  evening  of  the  22d  we  camped  on  the  Lone- 
tree  Lake,  two  miles  from  Wood  Lake,  and  two  from 
the  Yellow  Medicine  Eiver.  Next  morning,  between 
six  and  seven  o'clock,  as  we  were  taking  our  break 
fast,  several  foraging  teams,  with  their  guards,  when 
about  half  a  mile  from  camp,  were  fired  upon  by  In 
dians,  who  lay  concealed  in  the  grass.  The  guards 
returned  the  fire,  while  the  teams  were  urged  to  their 
utmost  speed.  The  3d  regiment,  under  Major  Welch, 
which  had  joined  us  at  the  fort,  hurried  out,  without 
orders  from  the  commander  of  the  expedition,  crossed 
a  ravine,  and  was  soon  engaged  with  the  foe.  The 
general  impression  at  first  was  that  the  attack  was  by 
a  small  number  of  the  enemy,  and  that  the  soldiers 
were  wasting  their  ammunition,  for  the  firing  soon  be 
came  rapid.  The  3d  were  ordered  back  into  camp; 
and  just  then  the  enemy  appeared  in  great  numbers 
on  all  sides,  and  were  gathering  in  the  ravine  between 


174 


THE   SIOUX  WAR  AND  MASSACRE. 


the  regiment  and  the  camp.  The  battle,  which  was 
known  as  that  of  Wood  Lake,  had  now  fairly  begun. 
The  balls  flew  thick  and  fast,  some  of  them  penetra 
ting  the  tents. 

Captain  Hendricks's  cannon  now  opened  fire,  as  did 
the  howitzer,  under  the  direct  supervision  of  Colonel 
Sibley.  Then  Hendricks  boldly  advanced  his  gun  to 
the  head  of  the  ravine,  and  the  brave  Lieutenant  Col 
onel  Marshall,  with  three  companies  of  the  7th,  and 


LUEUTKNAHV   CIOLCXNEL   W.  K.  MARSHALL. 


Captain  Grant,  of  the  6th,  charged  amid  a  shower  of 
balls,  on  the  double-quick,  through  the  ravine,  and  put 
the  foe  to  rout.  The  contest  lasted  for  an  hour  and 
a  half.  The  number  actually  engaged  on  each  side 


UPWARD  MARCH  AND  BATTLE  OF  WOOD  LAKE.    175 

was  about  eight  hundred,  many  of  our  men  being  held 
in  camp  in  reserve.  Our  loss  was  four  killed  and  be 
tween  forty  and  fifty  wounded.  Among  the  wound 
ed  was  Major  Welch,  who  was  shot  in  the  leg  early  in 
the  fight  while  bravely  leading  his  men  forward.  The 
command  then  devolved  upon  Lieutenant  Olin,  who 
distinguished  himself  by  his  gallant  conduct. 

The  3d  regiment  had  acted  in  a  very  boisterous 
manner  ever  since  it  joined  us,  paying  little  regard  to 
orders.  This  was  owing  to  the  fact  that  they  felt  reck 
less  from  their  unjustifiable  surrender  at  Murfreesbor- 
ough,  and  because  they  were  without  officers,  Lieuten 
ant  Olin  being  the  only  one  present  belonging  to  the 
regiment  (Welch  had  been  recently  assigned  to  the 
command).  In  this  fight  they  nobly  did  their  whole 
duty.  They  and  the  Eenville  Eangers,  under  Captain 
James  Gorman,  bore  the  brunt  of  the  fray,  and  sus 
tained  jnost  of  the  losses.  A  small  body  of  the  enemy 
threatened  another  portion  of  the  camp,  but  were  suc 
cessfully  repelled  by  Major  M'Laren  and  Captain  Har 
vey  B.  Wilson.  Colonel  Sibley's  staff  were  active  in 
carrying  his  orders,  and  were  specially  commended  in 
his  dispatches. 

Other  Day  nobly  redeemed  the  pledge  he  had  made 
two  days  before.  He  took  with  his  own  hand  two 
horses  from  the  enemy,  and  slew  their  riders.  He 
was  often  in  their  midst,  and  so  far  in  advance  of  our 
men  that  they  fired  many  shots  at  him,  in  the  belief 
that  he  was  one  of  the  foe.  No  person  on  the  field 
compared  with  him  in  the  exhibition  of  reckless  brav 
ery.  He  was  a  warrior  worthy  to  have  crossed  cime- 
ters  with  Saladin,  or  dashed  with  Arabia's  mad  proph 
et  through  the  shock  of  Eastern  war.  He  seemed  to 


176  THE   SIOUX  WAR  AND   MASSACRE. 

be  instinct  with  the  spirit  of  the  fierce,  resistless  steed, 
"who  saith  among  the  trumpets  'ha!  ha!'  and  smell- 
eth  the  battle  from  afar  off,  the  thunder  of  the  cap 
tains  and  the  shouting."  He  was  clothed  entirely  in 
white ;  a  belt  around  his  waist,  in  which  was  placed 
his  knife  ;  a  handkerchief  was  knotted  about  his  head, 
and  in  his  hand  he  lightly  grasped  his  rifle.  His 
teeth  glistened  like  finest  ivory  through  the  slightly- 
parted  lips ;  his  eye  was  ablaze  with  fire ;  his  face  of 
bronze  radiant  with  the  joy  of  battle;  his  exulting 
utterances  came  thick  and  fast,  in  a  sort  of  purr, 
pitched  upon  a  high  key,  and  soft  as  the  dulcet  tones 
of  an  Italian  woman.  As  he  bounded  along  with 
the  graceful  spring  of  a  tiger-cat,  there  came  to  mind 
Djalma,  the  Prince  of  Java,  when,  in  the  theatre  at 
Paris,  at  the  time  of  the  escape  of  the  panther  Le 
Mort,  he  leaped  upon  the  stage  with  the  returning  ar 
dor  of  his  native  jungles,  and  struck  his  dagger  to  the 
heart.  With  the  exuberant,  riotous  health  of  Bul- 
wer's  Margrave,  and  the  airy  wildness  of  the  Faun,  he 
looked  the  perfection  of  all  the  creatures  of  the  woods 
and  fields,  and  the  incarnation  of  the  ideal  of  the  In 
dian  God  of  War. 

It  was  the  taunts  of  the  Friendly  Indians  who  forced 
on  the  fight  while  we  were  in  camp.  Little  Crow's 
plan  was  to  ambuscade  us  while  passing  through  the 
deep  gorge  of  the  Yellow  Medicine.  Had  this  advice 
been  followed  many  of  our  number  would  have  been 
slain.  They  insisted  that  if  the  Lower  Indians  were 
really  brave  they  ought  to  attack  us  on  the  open 
plain.  Just  before  the  battle  their  medicine-man  went 
through  certain  incantations  and  predicted  success. 
In  one  of  the  wagons  the  Sioux  carried  a  British  flag. 
Had  they  been  a  unit  in  their  feelings  the  battle  would 


UPWARD  MARCH  AND  BATTLE  OF  WOOD  LAKE.    177 

have  continued  much  longer ;  but  the  Upper  Indians, 
as  soon  as  they  found  the  day  was  going  against  them, 
abandoned  the  field,  and  were  followed  by  the  others. 
Simon,  a  Sioux  who  had  joined  us  at  Fort  Kidgety, 
went  from  Colonel  Sibley's  forces  during  the  progress 
of  the  fight  to  ascertain  what  the  friendly-disposed 
Indians  were  going  to  do.  It  will  be  recollected  that 
they  had  sent  word  that  they  would  display  a  white 
flag  and  leave  the  others.  He  distinctly  stated  that 
ifcwould  be  better  for  them  to  abandon  the  others,  and 
that  the  innocent  ones  would  not  be  punished.  The 
young  braves  evinced  great  hostility,  and  threatened 
to  kill  him ;  but  he  said  that  they  might  do  so ;  that 
he  was  an  old  man,  but  would  do  his  duty  whatever 
might  happen.  His  conduct  is  represented  to  have 
been  cool  and  daring  in  the  extreme.  At  the  conclu 
sion  of  the  contest  they  requested  leave  to  carry  away 
their  dead,  but  were  refused.  Fifteen  Indians  were 
found  upon  the  battle  -  field,  and  a  wounded  one 
brought  in  as  a  prisoner.  The  dead  ones  were  gath 
ered  together  and  buried.  They  were  all  scalped. 
One  person,  in  his  eagerness,  tore  off  the  entire  skin 
from  the  face  with  the  scalp,  and  carried  it  to  his  tent 
under  his  vest.  It  seemed  a  hard  thing  to  exult  over 
the  dead,  but  the  soldiers  could  not  help  feeling  satis 
faction  that  the  hunt  after  the  miscreants  who  had 
committed  so  many  murders  with  impunity  was  hav 
ing  a  practical  result.  The  sensation  experienced  was 
very  much  like  that  felt  by  the  hunter  when  he  proves 
that  he  has  succeeded  in  killing  some  wily  animal  by 
an  exhibition  of  the  animal  itself,  or  by  the  fisherman, 
who  produces  the  fish  to  listeners  who  would  other 
wise  be  dubious  as  to  the  reception  of  bites.  So  many 
H2 


178  THE   SIOUX  WAR  AND  MASSACRE. 

large  stories  about  the  killing  of  Indians  had  been 
told,  without  any  person  having  actually  seen  their 
natural  confirmation  —  the  bodies  —  that  the  people 
were  getting  very  incredulous  on  the  point.  The  mu 
tilation  of  the  dead  enemy  was  discountenanced  by  the 
officers.  It  was  done  in  the  excitement  of  the  mo 
ment,  and  after  seeing  the  horrible  manner  in  which 
the  foe  had  carved  up  the  soldiers  which  they  killed. 

The  wounded  Indian  lived  several  days.  He  was 
shot  through  the  lungs,  and  the  breath  and  the  bufc)- 
bling  blood  could  be  heard  issuing  from  the  wound. 
He  was  lying  in  a  tent,  guarded,  shivering  with  cold, 
and  almost  perishing  for  water.  James  Gorman,  of 
the  Eenville  Kangers,  and  another  person,  gave  him 
some  water,  and  threw  an  overcoat  over  him.  A 
grateful  look  came  into  his  dying  eyes.  He  had 
not  expected  this.  The  soldiers  on  the  outside 
thought  this  act  of  charity  an  outrageously  culpable 
thing.  How  precious  a  cup  of  cold  water  may  some 
times  be,  and  what  contumely  attend  its  bestowal! 
Among  the  fatally  wounded  of  the  Indians  who  were 
carried  away  was  one  of  the  "Farmers,"  who  had 
been  a  devoted  friend  of  the  captives.  He  was  not 
engaged  himself,  but  took  a  club  and  drove  some  of 
the  cowardly  Lower  Indians  into  the  midst  of  danger, 
saying,  "You  said  we  were  not  brave,  and  now  I  will 
show  you  where  to  go."  Red  Iron,  who  had  also 
been  our  friend,  was  with  him. 

After  burying  our  dead  and  remaining  one  day  at 
Wood  Lake,  we  marched  to  the  Indian  camp  near 
Lac  qui  Parle,  which,  by  the  route  we  had  taken,  was 
about  two  hundred  and  twenty-five  miles  from  St. 
Paul. 


CAMP   RELEASE.  181 


CHAPTER  XII. 

CAMP   RELEASE. 

ON  the  26th  of  September  we  reached  the  Indian 
camp.  It  was  located  nearly  opposite  the  mouth  of 
the  Chippeway  River,  and  numbered  about  one  hund 
red  tepees.  Just  before  we  arrived,  a  war  party,  com 
posed  of  a  portion  of  those  who  had  placed  the  sticks 
on  Prescott's  grave,  had  passed  by,  leaving  a  prisoner 
with  the  inmates.*  Little  Crow  and  some  two  hund 
red  men  and  their  families  hurriedly  fled  the  day  aft 
er  the  battle.  Some  of  the  fugitives  were  still  in  sight 
when  we  came  up.  A  few  hundred  cavalry  could 
easily  have  captured  these,  and  put  an  immediate  end 
to  the  war. 

Colonel  Sibley  frequently  urged  the  necessity  of 
a  mounted  force,  and  Governor  Ramsey  was  ener 
getic  in  his  endeavors  to  comply  with  his  demand. 
The  failure  to  do  so  resulted  from  the  preoccupa 
tion  of  the  federal  government  in  a  more  important 
war.  General  Pope,  who  was  placed  in  command 
of  the  department  some  time  afterward,  dispatched 
several  hundred  cavalry  to  Colonel  Sibley,  but  the 
season  was  too  far  advanced  to  follow  Crow.  It  was 
unfortunate  that  the  energetic  and  influential  ex-Sen 
ator  Rice  had  not  been  placed  early  in  charge  of  the 

*  This  party  had  murdered  several  persons  in  the  neighborhood  of 
Hutchinson  on  the  day  of  the  battle  of  Wood  Lake.  The  others 
committed  depredations  at  Medalia. 


182 


THE   SIOUX  WAR  AND   MASSACRE. 


department,  as  was  suggested.  He  was  fully  alive  to 
the  necessity  of  such  a  force,  and  would  have  taken 
care  that  Colonel  Sibley  should  have  had  the  requisite 
number  in  time. 

Our  own  camp,  which  was  called  "  Camp  Kelease," 
was  pitched  about  a  quarter  of  a  mile  from  that  of  the 
Indians,  which  our  cannon  commanded.  Their  camp 
was  filled  with  wagons  and  cattle  which  they  had  sto 
len.  The  tents  were  well  supplied  with  carpets,  and 
different  kinds  of  goods  and  household  utensils.  Soon 
after  our  arrival,  the  commander,  with  his  staff  and 
body-guard,  rode  over  and  took  formal  possession. 


CAMP   RELEASE. 


185 


1NIHAN    BOY. 


Wondering  squaws  and  children  stared  at  the  new 
comers,  and  tall,  gay ly -painted  braves  were  profuse  in 
their  declarations  of  friendship.  "Old  Betz,"  a  very 
aged  squaw,  since  dead,  who  was  well  known  through 
out  the  state,  and  who,  it  was  said,  had  been  kind  to 
the  captives,  was  among  the  former.  A  formal  de 
mand  which  was  made  for  the  captives  was  instantly 
complied  with.  They  were  nearly  two  hundred  and 
fifty  in  number.  They  had  been  compelled  to  wear 
the  Indian  dress  during  their  captivity,  but  had  now 
been  permitted  to  resume  their  former  habiliments. 


186  THE   SIOUX  WAR  AND   MASSACRE. 

The  poor  creatures  wept  for  joy  at  their  escape.  They 
had  watched  for  our  coming  for  many  a  weary  day,* 
with  constant  apprehensions  of  death  at  the  hands  of 
their  savage  captors,  and  had  almost  despaired  of  see 
ing  us.  The  woe  written  in  the  faces  of  the  half  starved 
and  nearly  naked  women  and  children  would  have 
melted  the  hardest  heart.  They  were  taken  to  our 
camp,  where  they  remained  until  sent  below  a  few 
clays  subsequently.  The  sleepless  nights  which  the 
commander  passed  in  scheming  for  their  deliverance, 
and  the  steadfastness  with  which  he  resisted  all  coun 
sels  for  a  sudden  attack,  which  would  have  compro 
mised  their  safety,  received  in  their  deliverance  a  rich 
reward. 

George  Spencer,  who  was  saved  by  his  Indian 
friend  at  Red- Wood  (the  only  white  man  among  the 
captives),  said,  if  we  had  marched  to  the  camp  imme 
diately  after  the  battle,  most  of  the  prisoners  would 
have  been  killed.  It  will  be  recollected  that  many 
of  them  were  in  the  Lower  Indians'  exclusive  posses 
sion,  and  that  they  had  resolved  that  they  should  die 
with  them. 

The  apprehensions  of  the  captives  after  the  first 
rage  of  their  captors  was  over  were  greater  than  their 
actual  sufferings.  They  fared  as  well  as  the  Indians 
in  the  main.  Only  one  person  was  killed — a  little  boy 
whom  a  warrior  had  adopted.  The  Indian  was  in  the 
habit  of  painting  his  face,  and  one  morning  the  little 
fellow  cried  because  it  was  not  done,  and,  enraged,  the 
savage  shot  him.  He  was  only  wounded,  and  the  In 
dian  boys  beat  him  to  death  with  clubs  and  pitched 
him  over  the  bluff.  The  grosser  outrages  were  most 
ly  committed  by  the  younger  portion  of  the  tribe. 


CAMP  KELEASE.  187 

Indians  are  not  all  lost  to  humanity.  Simon,  Lorenzo 
Lawrence,  Robert  Hopkins,  Paul,  Spencer's  comrade, 
Chaska,  and  the  noble  Other  Day,  risked  their  lives  in 
behalf  of  their  white  friends.  History  is  full  of  such 
instances.  The  heroic  Pocahontas  interposed  her  own 
person  between  the  axe  of  the  executioner  and  the 
imperiled  Smith.  The  great  Virginia  massacre  of 
1662  was  limited  in  its  extent  by  an  Indian  revealing 
the  plot  to  a  friend  whom  he  wished  to  •  save,  and 
Philip  of  Pokanoket  wept  with  sorrow  when  he  heard 
of  the  death  of  the  first  Englishman  who  was  killed. 
These  acts  and  numberless  others  will  suffer  no  dimi 
nution  of  effect  by  comparison  with  any  sacrifices  that 
whites  have  made  for  Indians. 

Many  of  our  men  insisted  that  Colonel  Sibley  would 
be  justifiable  in  making  any  treaty  he  could  to  obtain 
the  captives,  and  when  that  was  done,  kill  all  the  In 
dians,  men,  women,  and  children ;  one  of  them  quot 
ing  a  saying,  which  he  attributed  to  the  great  Indian- 
fighter  Harney,  that  "  nits  make  lice."  Our  people, 
luckily,  are  disciplined ;  and  the  broad,  sober  sense  of 
the  leaders,  which  reaches  beyond  the  present  hour, 
generally  restrains  acts  of  atrocity. 

Indians  pay  little  regard  to  the  chiefs  and  older 
men.  Prominent  intellects  they  have,  but  no  com 
manders — no  men  with  power  to  enforce  their  views. 
Passion,  unrestrained  by  judgment,  therefore  rules. 
In  vain  Tecumseh  sought,  with  more  effort  than  the 
white  man  Proctor,  to  stay  the  massacre  on  the  River 
Raisin ;  and  Crow's  exhortations  to  spare  women  and 
children  fell  unheeded  on  the  ears  of  the  braves.  The 
murder  of  white  soldiers  who  have  surrendered  in 
good  faith  is  due  to  the  inability  of  the  chiefs  to  en 
force  obedience  to  their  orders. 


188  THE   SIOUX   WAR  AND   MASSACRE. 

A  military  commission  of  inquiry  was  at  once  ap 
pointed  to  ascertain  the  guilty  parties,  and  testimony 
against  about  a  dozen  obtained.  A  commission  for  the 
trial  of  these  and  of  any  others  who  might  be  accused 
was  then  organized,  and  some  thirty  or  forty  immedi 
ately  arrested.  The  remainder  in  camp  were  sent 
down  to  the  Yellow  Medicine  Agency  under  charge 
of  Agent  Gralbraith,  as  the  stock  of  provisions  was  fast 
becoming'  exhausted. 

Many  other  Indians  came  in  voluntarily  with  their 
squaws  from  time  to  time,  and  gave  themselves  up ; 
and  others  were  surprised  in  the  night  by  our  expedi 
tions,  and  placed  with  the  others  in  a  second  camp 
near  our  own. 

The  evidence  before  the  commission  indicating  that 
the  whole  nation  was  involved  in  the  war,  Colonel 
Crooks,  by  order  of  the  commander,  silently  surround 
ed  the  second  camp  in  the  night,  disarmed  the  men,  and 
placed  them  in  a  log  jail  which  had  previously  been 
erected  in  the  midst  of  our  camp.  The  guns  taken 
from  them  were  nearly  all  loaded  with  ball,  and  the 
shot-pouches  also  filled  with  them.  Among  the  guns 
were  some  of  the  rifles  which  had  been  taken  from 
Marsh  and  Strout.  A  similar  proceeding  was  order 
ed  at  Yellow  Medicine,  and  safely  accomplished  by  as 
sembling  all  the  braves  within  the  walls  of  the  agency 
buildings,  under  pretense  of  holding  a  council.  Bat 
tling  Moccasin,  taking  alarm,  had  decamped  from  there 
a  few  days  before  with  a  portion  of  his  band. 

The  prisoners  were  linked  together  in  pairs  by  chains 
forged  to  their  ankles.  As  the  proud  but  now  crest 
fallen  braves  hobbled  along,  the  soldiers  would  deri 
sively  salute  them  with  "Left!"  "Left!"  They  were 


CAMP   KELEASE.  189 

designated,  whenever  spoken  of,  as  "Los"  from  "Lo! 
the  poor  Indian,  whose  untutored  mind,"  etc. 

A  number  of  half-breeds  were  among  the  accused, 
and  these  were  looked  upon  with  more  hatred  than 
the  Indians,  because  related  to  the  whites.  The  object 
of  most  bitter  malediction  was  the  negro,  or,  rather, 
mulatto  Godfrey  or  Gussa,  who  was  also  a  prisoner 
and  chained  to  an  Indian.  He  had  been  foremost 
among  the  attacking  party  at  New  Ulm,  and  Indians 
said  he  was  braver  than  any  of  them.  He  had  boast 
ed  that  he  had  killed  nine  adults  and  a  number  of 
children,  but  of  the  latter  he  said  he  kept  no  account, 
because  he  thought  they  did  not  amount  to  any  thing. 
The  Indians  had  given  him  the  name  of  Otakle,  i.  e., 
"  he  who  kills  many."  He  admitted  being  in  the  bat 
tles,  but  denied  that  he  had  killed  any  one.  Where 
persons  are  murdered  in  a  house,  the  Indians  give  the 
credit  of  the  affair  to  the  man  who  first  enters,  on  ac 
count  of  the  superior  daring  thereby  indicated,  just  as, 
for  the  same  reason,  they  say  a  brave  who  first  touches 
the  body  of  the  slain  kills  the  person,  although  the 
deed  may  have  been  committed  by  another.  The  man 
attacked  may  be  only  feigning  death.  Indians  often 
do  so.  Godfrey  said  he  acquired  his  name  by  entering 
first  into  a  house  near  New  Ulm  by  direction  of  the 
Indians,  where  a  number  were  killed  by  them.  I  have 
but  little  doubt  that  he  entered  into  the  massacres 
with  as  much  zest  as  the  Indians  themselves  after  he 
once  commenced.  He  was  brought  up  among  them, 
could  speak  their  language,  and  was  married  to  a 
squaw.  Two  very  intelligent  girls,  who  were  cap 
tured  by  a  party  of  Indians  on  the  first  day  of  the 
massacre,  between  Reynolds's  place  on  the  Red-Wood 


190  THE   SIOUX  WAR  AND   MASSACRE. 

and  ISTew  Ulm,  said  that  Godfrey,  who  was  with  the 
Indians,  driving  the  team  in  which  they  were  placed, 
was  painted  for  war,  and  wore  a  breech-clout;  and  that 
he  chuckled  over  their  captivity,  and  seemed  to  enter 
fully  into  the  spirit  of  their  captors.  He  was  leaning 
composedly  against  a  wagon-box  when  we  entered  the 
Indian  camp.  He  was  about  the  medium  height,  stout 
ly  built ;  had  very  dark  complexion,  curly  hair,  lips 
of  medium  thickness,  eyes  slightly  crossed,  but  not 
enough  to  disfigure,  and  a  voice  of  most  marvelous 
sweetness.  He  wore  moccasins,  but  otherwise  had  re 
sumed  the  dress  of  the  whites.  An  old  plush  cap,  with 
large  ear-flaps,  was  placed  on  one  side  of  his  head. 
This  is  the  story  which  Godfrey  told : 


191 


CHAPTER  XIII. 

GODFREY'S  STORY. 

"I  AM  twenty-seven  years  old.  I  was  born  at  Men- 
dota.  My  father  was  a  Canadian  Frenchman,  and  my 
mother  a  colored  woman,  who  hired  in  the  family  of 
the  late  Alex.  Bailley.  I  was  raised  in  Mr.  Bailley's 
family.  My  father  is,  I  think,  living  in  "Wisconsin ; 
his  name  is  Joe  Godfrey.  My  mother  is  also  living 
at  Prairie  du  Chien.  I  last  saw  my  father  and  mother 
at  Prairie  du  Chien  seven  years  ago.  I  lived  with 
Mr.  Bailley  at  Wabashaw,  and  also  at  Hastings  and 
Faribault.  I  had  lived  at  the  Lower  Agency  five 
years.  I  was  married,  four  years  ago,  to  a  woman  of 
Wabashaw's  band — daughter  of  Wa-kpa-doo-ta.*  At 
the  time  of  the  outbreak  I  lived  on  the  Reservation 
on  the  south  side  of  the  Minnesota  River,  between 
the  Lower  Agency  and  New  Ulm,  about  twenty  miles 
below  the  agency  and  eight  above  New  Ulm. 

"  The  first  time  I  heard  of  the  trouble  I  was  mow 
ing  hay.  About  noon  an  Indian  was  making  hay 
near  me.  I  went  to  help  him,  to  change  work ;  he 
was  to  lend  me  his  oxen.  I  helped  him  load  some 
hay,  and  as  we  took  it  to  his  place  we  heard  hallooing, 
and  saw  a  man  on  horseback,  with  a  gun  across  his 
legs  before  him.  When  he  saw  me  he  drew  his  gun 
Up  and  cocked  it.  The  Indian  with  me  asked  him 
'What's  the  matter?'  He  looked  strange.  He  wore 

*  Afterward  executed. 


192  THE  SIOUX  WAR  AND   MASSACRE. 

a  new  hat — a  soft  gray  hat — and  had  a  new  white  leath 
er  ox  or  mule  whip.  He  said  all  the  white  people  had 
been  killed  at  the  agency.  The  Indian  with  me  asked 
who  did  it,  and  he  replied  the  Indians,  and  that  they 
would  soon  be  down  that  way  to  kill  the  settlers  toward 
New  Ulm.  He  asked  me  which  side  I  would  take. 
He  said  I  would  have  to  go  home  and  take  off  my 
clothes,  and  put  on  a  breech-clout.  I  was  afraid,  be 
cause  he  held  his  gun  as  if  he  would  kill  me.  I  went 
to  my  house  and  told  my  wife  to  get  ready,  and  we 
would  try  to  get  away.  I  told  my  wife  about  what  the 
Indian  told  me.  I  told  her  we  would  try  to  get  down 
the  river.  She  said  we  would  be  killed  with  the  white 
people.  We  got  something  ready  to  take  with  us  to 
eat,  and  started — we  got  about  two  hundred  yards  into 
the  woods.  (The  old  man,  my  wife's  father,  said  he 
would  fasten  the  house  and  follow  after.)  "We  heard 
some  one  halloo.  It  was  the  old  man.  He  called  to 
us  to  come  back.  I  told  my  wife  to  go  on,  bat  her 
mother  told  her  to  stop.  I  told  them  to  go  ahead; 
but  the  old  man  called  so  much  that  they  stopped  and 
turned  back.  I  followed  them. 

"  I  found  my  squaw's  uncle  at  the  house.  He  scold 
ed  my  wife  and  her  mother  for  trying  to  get  away ; 
he  said  all  the  Indians  had  gone  to  the  agency,  and 
that  they  must  go  there.  He  said  we  would  be  killed 
if  we  went  toward  the  white  folks;  that  we  would 
only  be  safe  to  go  and  join  the  Indians.  I  still  had 
my  pants  on.  I  was  afraid ;  and  they  told  me  I  must 
take  my  pants  off  and  put  on  the  breech-clout.  I  did 
so.  The  uncle  said  we  must  take  a  rope  and  catch  a 
horse. 

"I  started  with  him  toward  New  Ulm,  and  we  met 


GODFREY'S  STORY.  193 

a  lot  of  Indians  at  the  creek,  about  a  mile  from  my 
house.  They  were  all  painted,  and  said  I  must  be 
painted.  They  then  painted  me.  I  was  afraid  to  re 
fuse. 

"  They  asked  me  why  I  didn't  have  a  gun,  or  knife, 
or  some  weapon.  I  told  them  I  had  no  gun — the  old 
man  had  taken  it  away.  One  Indian  had  a  spear,  a 
gun,  and  a  little  hatchet.  He  told  me  to  take  the 
hatchet,  and  that  I  must  fight  with  the  Indians,  and 
do  the  same  they  did,  or  I  would  be  killed.  "We  start 
ed  down  the  road.  We  saw  two  wagons  with  people 
in  them  coming  toward  us.  The  Indians  consulted 
what  to  do,  and  decided  for  half  of  them  to  go  up  to 
a  house  off  the  road,  on  the  right-hand  side.  They 
started,  but  I  stopped,  and  they  called  me  and  told  me 
I  must  come  on.  There  was  an  old  man,  a  boy,  and 
two  young  women  at  the  house — Dutch  people.  The 
family's  name  was  something  like  '  Masseybush.'  The 
boy  and  two  girls  stood  outside,  near  the  kitchen  door. 
Half  of  the  Indians  went  to  the  house,  half  remained 
in  the  road.  The  Indians  told  me  to  tell  the  whites 
that  there  were  Chippeways  about,  and  that  they  (the 
Indians)  were  after  them.  I  did  not  say  any  thing. 
The  Indians  asked  for  some  water.  The  girls  went 
into  the  house,  and  the  Indians  followed  and  talked 
in  Sioux.  One  said  to  me,  '  Here  is  a  gun  for  you.' 
Dinner  was  on  the  table,  and  the  Indians  said, '  After 
we  kill,  then  we  will  have  dinner.'  They  told  me  to 
watch  the  road,  and  when  the  teams  came  up  to  tell 
them.  I  turned  to  look,  and  just  then  I  heard  the  In 
dians  shoot;  I  looked,  and  two  girls  fell  just  outside 
the  door.  I  did  not  go  in  the  house ;  I  started  to  go 
round  the  house.  We  were  on  the  back  side  of  it, 

I 


194  THE  SIOUX  WAR  AND   MASSACRE. 

when  I  heard  the  Indians  on  the  road  hallooing  and 
shouting.  They  called  me,  and  I  went  to  the  road 
and  saw  them  killing  white  men.  My  brother-in-law 
told  me  I  must  take  care  of  a  team  that  he  was  hold 
ing  ;  that  it  was  his.  I  saw  two  men  killed  that  were 
with  this  wagon.  I  did  not  see  who  were  killed  in 
the  other  wagon.  I  saw  one  Indian  stick  his  knife  in 
the  side  of  a  man  that  was  not  yet  dead ;  he  cut  his 
side  open,  and  then  cut  him  all  to  pieces.*  His  name 
was  Wakantonka  (great  spirit).  Two  of  the  Indians 
that  killed  the  people  at  the  house  have  been  convict 
ed.  Their  names  are  Waki-ya-ni  and  Mah-hwa. 
There  were  about  ten  Indians  at  the  house,  and  about 
the  same  number  in  the  road.  I  got  into  the  wagon, 
and  the  Indians  all  got  in.  We  turned  and  went  to 
ward  New  Ulm.  When  we  got  near  to  a  house  the 
Indians  all  got  out  and  ran  ahead  of  the  wagons,  and 
two  or  three  went  to  each  house,  and  in  that  way 
they  killed  all  the  people  along  the  road.  I  staid  in 
the  wagon,  and  did  not  see  the  people  killed.  They 
killed  the  people  of  six  or  eight  houses — all  until  we 
got  to  the  l  Travelers'  Home.'  There  were  other  In 
dians  killing  people  all  through  the  settlement.  We 
could  see  them  and  hear  them  all  around.  I  was 
standing  in  the  wagon,  and  could  see  three,  or  four, 
or  five  Indians  at  every  house. 

"  When  we  got  near  the  *  Travelers'  Home'  they 
told  me  to  stop.  I  saw  an  old  woman  with  two  chil 
dren — one  in  each  hand — run  away  across  the  yard. 
One  Indian,  Maza-bom-doo,  who  was  convicted,  shot 
the  old  woman,  and  jumped  over  and  kicked  the  chil 
dren  down  with  his  feet.  The  old  woman  fell  down 
*  Afterward  executed. 


GODFREY'S  STORY.  195 

as  if  dead.  I  turned  away  my  head,  and  did  not  see 
whether  the  children  were  killed.  After  that  I  heard 
a  shot  behind  the  barn,  but  did  not  see  who  was  shot. 
I  supposed  some  one  was  killed.  After  that  the. In 
dians  got  in  the  wagon,  and  told  me  to  start  down  the 
road.  We  started  on,  and  got  to  a  house  where  a  man 
lived  named  Schling — a  German — an  old  man.  The 
Indians  found  a  jug  in  the  wagon,  and  were  now  al 
most  drunk.  They  told  me  to  jump  out.  I  jumped 
out  and  started  ahead,  and  the  Indians  called  me  to 
come  back.  They  threw  out  a  hatchet,  and  said  I 
must  go  to  the  house  and  kill  the  people.  Maza-bom- 
doo  was  ahead.  He  told  me  there  were  three  guns 
there  that  he  had  left  for  some  flour,  and  we  must  get 
them.  I  was  afraid. 

"I  went  into  the  house.  There  was  the  old  man, 
his  wife  and  son,  and  a  boy  and  another  man.  They 
were  at  dinner.  The  door  stood  open,  and  the  In 
dians  were  right  behind  me,  and  pushed  me  in.  I 
struck  the  old  man  on  the  shoulder  with  the  flat  of 
the  hatchet,  and  then  the  Indians  rushed  in  and  com 
menced  to  shoot  them.  The  old  man,  woman,  and 
boy  ran  into  the  kitchen.  The  other  man  ran  out 
some  way,  I  did  not  see  how;  but  when  we  went 
back  to  the  road,  about  twenty  steps,  I  saw  him  in  the 
road  dead.  He  was  the  man  I  struck  in  the  house. 
I  heard  the  Indians  shoot  back  of  the  house,  but  did 
not  see  what  at.  After  we  started  to  go  to  Eed-Wood, 
one  little  Indian,  who  had  pox-marks  on  his  face,  and 
who  was  killed  at  Wood  Lake,  said  he  struck  the  boy 
with  a  knife,  but  didn't  say  if  he  killed  him.  He  told 
this  to  the  other  Indians. 

"  We  saw  coming  up  the  road  two  wagons,  one  with 


196  THE   SIOUX  WAR  AND   MASSACRE. 

a  flag  in  it.  The  Indians  were  afraid,  and  we  started 
back,  and  went  past  the  '  Travelers'  Home.'  We  got 
to  a  bridge,  and  the  Indians  got  out  and  laid  down  in 
the  grass  about  the  bridge.  I  went  on  up  the  road. 
The  wagons,  with  white  men,  came  on  up  and  stopped 
in  the  road,  where  there  was  a  dead  man,  I  think ; 
then  they  sounded  the  bugle  and  started  to  cross  the 
bridge,  running  their  horses.  The  foremost  wagon 
had  one  horse,  of  a  gray  color ;  three  men  were  in  it, 
and  had  the  flag.  Just  as  they  came  across  the  bridge, 
the  Indians  raised  up  and  shot.  The  three  men  fell 
out,  and  the  team  went  on.  The  Indians  ran  and 
caught  it.  The  other  wagon  had  not  got  across  the 
bridge.  I  heard  them  shoot  at  the  men  in  it,  but  I 
did  not  see  them.  After  the  Indians  brought  the  sec 
ond  wagon  arcoss  the  bridge,  three  Indians  got  in  the 
wagon.  After  that  all  of  them  talked  together,  and 
said  that  it  was  late  (the  sun  was  nearly  down),  and 
that  they  must  look  after  their  wives  and  children 
that  had  started  to  go  to  Bed-Wood.  Many  of  these 
Indians  lived  on  the  lower  end  of  the  reservation. 
The  two-horse  team  that  they  had  just  taken  was 
very  much  frightened,  and  they  could  not  hold  them. 
They  told  me  I  must  take  and  hold  them,  and  drive 
them.  I  took  the  team,  and  then  they  all  got  in.  We 
then  had  four  teams.  We  started  from  there,  and 
went  on  up.  When  we  got  to  where  the  first  people 
were  killed,  the  Indians  told  me  to  drive  up  to  the 
house.  The  two  girls  were  lying  dead.  I  saw  one 
girl  with  her  head  cut  off;  the  head  was  gone.  One 
Indian,  an  old  man,  asked  who  cut  the  head  off;  he 
said  it  was  too  bad.  The  other  Indians  said  they  did 
not  know.  The  girls'  clothes  were  turned  up.  The 


GODFREY'S  STOKY.  197 

old  man  put  them  down.  He  is  now  in  prison ;  his 
name  is  Wazakoota ;  he  is  a  good  old  man.  While 
we  stood  there  one  wagon  went  to  another  house,  and 
I  heard  a  gun  go  off. 

"  We  started  up  the  road,  and  stopped  at  a  creek 
about  a  mile  farther  on.  We  waited  for  some  of  the 
Indians  that  were  behind.  While  we  were  there  we 
saw  a  house  on  fire.  When  the  Indians  came  up  they 
said  that  Wak-pa-doo-ta,  my  father-in-law,  shot  a  wom 
an,  who  was  on  a  bed  sick,  through  the  window ;  and 
that  an  old  man  ran  up  stairs,  and  the  Indians  were 
afraid  to  go  in  the  house ;  they  thought  he  had  a  gun, 
and  they  set  fire  to  the  house  and  left  it.  We  then 
started  on  from  that  creek,  and  went  about  seven  miles 
to  near  a  little  lake  (about  a  hundred  yards  from  the 
road).  We  saw,  far  away,  a  wagon  coming  toward  us. 
When  it  was  only  two  miles  from  us  we  saw  it  was 
a  two-horse  wagon,  but  the  Indians  didn't  know  if  it 
was  white  people.  When  it  came  nearer  they  told 
me  to  go  fast.  The  Indians  whipped  the  horses  and 
hurried  them  on.  Two  Indians  were  ahead  of  us  on 
horseback.  Pretty  soon  we  came  near,  and  the  team 
that  was  coming  toward  us  stopped  and  turned  round, 
and  the  Indians  said  it  was  white  men,  and  they  were 
trying  to  run  away.  The  two  on  horseback  then 
shot,  and  I  saw  a  white  man — Patville — fall  back  over 
his  seat ;  and  after  that  I  saw  three  women  and  one 
man  jump  out  of  the  wagon  and  run.  Then  those  in 
the  wagon  with  me  jumped  out  and  ran  after  the 
women.  We  got  up  to  the  wagon.  Patville  was  not 
dead.  The  Indians  threw  him  out,  and  a  young  In 
dian,  sentenced  to  be  hung,  stuck  a  knife  between  his 
ribs,  under  the  arm,  and  another  one,  who  is  with  Lit- 


198  THE   SIOUX   WAK  AND   MASSACKE. 

tie  Crow,  took  his  gun  and  beat  his  head  all  to  pieces. 
The  other  Indians  killed  the  other  white  man  near 
the  little  lake,  and  brought  back  the  three  women — 
Mattie  Williams,  Mary  Anderson,  and  Mary  Swan. 

"  Patville's  wagon  was  full  of  trunks.  The  Indians 
broke  them  open  and  took  the  things  out ;  there  were 
some  goods  in  them  (Patville  was  a  sort  of  trader  on 
the  reservation).  They  put  one  woman  in  the  wagon. 
I  drove.  The  other  two  were  put  separately  in  the 
other  wagons.  The  one  in  my  wagon  (Mary  Swan) 
was  caught  by  Maza-bom-doo.  Ta-zoo  had  Mattie 
Williams.  We  then  went  on,  and  stopped  at  a  creek 
about  a  mile  ahead  to  water  the  horses.  Then  they 
called  me  to  ask  the  woman  that  was  wounded  if  she 
was  badly  hurt.  She  said  '  Yes.'  They  told  me  to 
ask  her  to  show  the  wound,  and  that  they  would  do 
something  for  it.  She  showed  the  wound.  It  was  in 
the  back.  The  ball  did  not  come  out.  She  asked 
where  we  were  going.  I  said  I  didn't  know,  but  sup 
posed  to  Bed-Wood.  I  asked  what  had  been  done  at 
the  agency.  She  said  they  didn't  know ;  that  they 
came  around  on  the  prairie  past  Eed-Wood.  I  told 
her  I  heard  that  all  the  whites  at  the  agency  were 
killed  and  the  stores  robbed.  She  said  she  wished 
they  would  drive  fast,  so  she  could  have  a  doctor  do 
something  for  her  wound ;  she  was  afraid  she  would 
die.  I  said  I  was  a  prisoner  too.  She  asked  what 
would  be  done  with  them.  I  said  I  didn't  know  ;  per 
haps  we  would  all  be  killed.  I  said  maybe  the  doc 
tor  was  killed,  if  all  the  white  people  were.  After 
that  we  started  on,  and  got  to  the  Eed-Wood  Agency 
about  nine  o'clock.  It  was  dark.  Then  the  Indians 
looked  round,  and  did  not  see  any  people.  We  went 


GODFREY'S  STORY.  199 

on  to  Wacouta's  house.  He  came  out,  and  told  me  to 
tell  the  girl  in  my  wagon  to  go  into  his  house — that 
the  other  two  girls  were  in  his  house.  I  told  the  girl ; 
but  she  was  afraid,  and  said  she  thought  the  other 
women  were  somewhere  else.  I  told  her  that  Wacou- 
ta  said  they  were  in  his  house,  and  she  had  better  go. 
Wacouta  told  her  to  go  with  him,  and  she  got  out  and 
went  with  him.  I  then  went  on  to  Little  Crow's  vil 
lage,  where  most  all  of  the  Indians  had  gone.  I  found 
my  wife  there.  We  staid  some  time  there,  and  then 
started  for  the  fort.  They  asked  me  to  go  to  drive  a 
team.  After  we  got  there  they  commenced  to  fight. 
They  broke  in  the  stable,  and  told  me  to  go  and  take 
all  the  horses  I  could.  I  got  a  black  mare,  but  an 
Indian  took  it  away  from  me.  They  fought  all  day, 
and  slept  at  night  in  the  old  stable  under  the  hill. 
The  next  morning  they  fought  only  a  little ;  it  was 
raining.  We  then  went  back  to  Red -Wood.  In 
about  six  days  after  all  the  Indians  started,  and  said 
they  would  go  to  Mankato.  They  came  down  toward 
the  fort  on  that  side  of  the  river,  and  crossed  near  the 
*  Travelers'  Home.'  When  they  got  opposite  the  fort 
they  stopped,  and  talked  of  trying  to  get  in  again,  but 
did  not.  About  noon  they  went  on  to  New  Ulm.  I 
saw  no  white  people  on  the  road.  I  got  to  New  Ulm 
about  two  hours  after  noon.  They  burned  houses, 
and  shot,  and  fought.  They  slept  at  New  Ulm  that 
night,  and  the  next  day  went  back  to  Little  Crow's 
village.  (This  was  the  last  fight  at  New  Ulm  ;  God 
frey  says  he  was  not  there  at  the  first  fight.  He  was 
then  at  Little  Crow's  village.)  After  a  few  days  we 
went  to  Eice  Creek  ;  staid  there  a  few  days,  and  start 
ed  again  to  come  to  Mankato.  After  crossing  the 


200  THE   SIOUX  WAR  AND   MASSACRE. 

Ked-Wood  we  went  up  the  hill,  and  saw  wagons  on 
the  prairie  on  the  other  side  of  the  river.  After  the 
Indians  had  all  crossed  the  Ked-Wood,  half  staid  there 
all  night,  and  half  went  over  the  Minnesota  to  where 
they  saw  the  wagons.  Those  that  staid  back  went 
over  early  the  next  morning.  I  went  with  them. 
We  got  there  at  sunrise.  We  heard  shooting  just  be 
fore  we  got  there.  They  were  shooting  all  day.  They 
killed  all  the  horses.  (This  was  the  battle  of  Birch 
Coolie.)  At  night  the  Indians  killed  some  cattle,  and 
cooked  and  ate  some  meat.  Some  talked  of  trying  to 
get  into  the  camp,  and  some  tried  it  all  night.  Oth 
ers  talked  of  watching  till  they  should  drive  them  out 
for  want  of  water.  Three  Indians  were  killed  that 
day — so  the  Indians  said.  I  saw  some  wounded — I 
should  think  five.  In  the  morning  some  more  talk 
was  had  about  trying  to  get  in.  In  the  mean  time  we 
saw  soldiers  coming  up,  and  half  of  the  Indians  started 
to  try  and  stop  them,  and  the  other  half  staid  to  watch 
the  camp  at  Birch  Coolie.  They  went  down  to  try  and 
stop  the  soldiers,  and  afterward  came  back  and  said 
'twas  no  use — that  they  couldn't  stop  them.  Some 
wanted  to  try  and  get  the  whites  into  Birch  Coolie, 
but  others  thought  they  had  better  go  back.  They 
fired  some  shots,  and  then  started  back.  The  Sisse- 
tons  got  to  us  while  we  were  there  the  second  day, 
about  two  or  three  hours  before  the  Indians  all  left. 
The  Indians  left  a  little  before  sundown.  They  cross 
ed  the  river  at  the  old  crossing,  and  went  up  to  the 
site  of  Eeynolds's  house,  the  other  side  of  the  Ked- 
Wood,  and  camped.  They  started  about  midnight  to 
go  to  Kice  Creek.  Got  there  about  sunrise.  Staid 
there  several  days. 


GODFREY'S  STORY.  201 

"  While  we  were  at  Birch  Coolie  Little  Crow  was  at 
the  Big  Woods.  He  got  back  to  Rice  Creek  two  days 
after  we  did.  We  went  from  Kice  Creek  to  Yellow 
Medicine ;  staid  there  about  two  weeks.  While  there 
ten  or  twenty  started  every  day  to  see  if  soldiers  were 
coming.  When  they  reported  that  soldiers  were  on 
the  way,  we  moved  our  camp  to  where  Mr.Riggs  lived ; 
then  up  to  Red  Iron's  village ;  then  to  a  little  way 
from  where  the  friendly  camp  was.  After  the  scouts 
reported  that  soldiers  had  crossed  the  Red- Wood,  Lit 
tle  Crow  made  a  speech,  and  said  that  all  must  fight ; 
that  it  would  be  the  last  fight,  and  they  all  must  do 
the  best  they  could.  Scouts  reported  about  midnight 
that  soldiers  were  camped  at  Rice  Creek.  In  the 
morning  we  all  started  down  to  Yellow  Medicine ; 
got  there  a  little  before  sundown.  Some  were  there 
earlier.  We  staid  at  Yellow  Medicine  all  night. 
Some  wanted  to  begin  the  attack  in  the  night,  but  oth 
ers  thought  'twas  best  to  wait  till  morning.  In  the 
morning  the  fight  began.  After  the  fight,  went  back 
to  the  old  camp  at  Camp  Release.  Little  Crow  tried 
to  get  all  to  go  with  him,  but  they  would  not.  Little 
Crow  started  away  in  the  night.  I  didn't  see  him  go. 
I  never  was  out  at  any  of  the  war  parties  except 
once  at  New  Ulm  (the  last  fight),  once  at  the  fort,  at 
Birch  Coolie,  and  Wood  Lake.  They  thought  that 
the  Winnebagoes  would  commence  at  Mankato  and 
attack  the  lower  settlements." 

12 


202  THE   SIOUX  WAR  AND   MASSACEE. 


CHAPTER  XIY. 

CAPTIVITY   OF   THE   FAMILY   OF  JOSEPH  K.  BROWN. 

MAJOR  JOSEPH  E.  BROWN'S  wife  and  children  were 
among  the  captives  at  Camp  Release.  They  suffered 
very  little  ill  treatment,  for  the  reason  that  they  were 
related  to  the  Sissetons,  and.  had  powerful  friends 
among  them.  They  lived  in  a  very  fine  stone  house, 
elegantly  furnished,  a  few  miles  below  the  Yellow 
Medicine  Agency,  on  the  opposite  side  of  the  river, 
which  was  afterward  destroyed  by  the  savages.  Sam 
uel  Brown,  one  of  the  sons,  a  remarkably  intelligent 
boy  of  about  fifteen  years  of  age,  narrated  to  the  writ 
er  the  following  particulars  connected  with  the  affair : 

"  On  Monday,  the  18th  day  of  August,  I  went  to 
Yellow  Medicine  with  my  sister  Ellen  upon  an  er 
rand.  "We  met  on  the  way  an  Indian  named  Little 
Dog,  who  told  us  that  the  Indians  had  killed  a  family 
at  Beaver  Creek,  and  were  going  to  kill  the  whites  as 
far  as  St.  Paul,  and  that  we  must  not  tell  any  one 
about  it,  or  they  would  kill  us.  He  said  he  warned 
us  at  the  risk  of  his  own  life.  This  was  about  noon. 
Soon  after  our  arrival  at  Yellow  Medicine,  an  old 
squaw  told  us  that  we  had  better  be  getting  away,  as 
there  would  soon  be  trouble.  We  asked  many  of  the 
other  Indians  about  it,  but  they  said  they  had  heard 
of  nothing  of  the  kind.  Another  squaw  afterward 
told  us  that  she  thought  it  must  be  the  Yanktonais 
who  were  coming  down  to  take  the  agency.  We  left 


CAPTIVITY   OF  JOSEPH   K.  BROWN'S   FAMILY.    208 

there  about  half  past  three  o'clock.  George  Glea- 
son  had  just  left  with  Mrs.  Wakefield  and  her  children 
for  below.  When  we  reached  home  we  told  mother 
what  we  had  heard.  She  was  very  much  scared,  and 
didn't  sleep  any  that  night.  About  four  o'clock  next 
morning  I  heard  some  one  outside  calling  in  a  loud 
voice  a  number  of  times  for  my  mother,  and  then  I 
heard  Charles  Blair,  my  brother-in-law  (a  white  man), 
ask  what  was  the  matter,  and  the  man,  who  was  a 
half-breed  named  Eoyer,  said  that  four  hundred  Yank- 
tonais  had  arrived  at  the  Upper  Agency,  and  were 
killing  every  body.  We  then  became  very  much 
alarmed,  and  had  our  oxen  yoked  at  once  to  the  wag 
on,  put  every  thing  in  it  we  could,  and  started  for 
Fort  Eidgely.  We  had  all  the  neighbors  warned,  and 
they  went  with  us.  They  had  three  wagons  with  ox- 
teams.  Four  or  five  white  men  overtook  us  on  the 
way,  among  them  Garvie's  cook.  (Garvie  was  the 
trader  wounded  at  the  agency,  who  died  at  Hutchin- 
son.) 

"  When  we  had  gone  about  five  miles  we  saw  some 
men  two  miles  ahead,  near  the  bank  of  the  river,  but 
supposed  they  were  farmers.  The  Yanktonais,  whom 
we  were  afraid  of,  lived  above  us.  We  thought  noth 
ing  more  about  the  men  until  we  saw  an  Indian  on  a 
hill  ahead  of  us.  He  beckoned  to  others,  and  before 
we  knew  it  we  were  surrounded.  De-wa-nea,  of 
Crow's  band,  and  Cut-nose,  and  Shakopee,  three  of  the 
worst  among  the  Lower  Indians,  came  to  us  first.  We 
were  in  the  head  wagon.  Mother  told  them  who  we 
were,  and  they  said  we  must  follow  them,  and  that  we 
were  all  as  good  as  dead.  De-wa-nea  said  that  the 
whites  had  taken  him  prisoner  a  good  many  times, 


204 


THE   SIOUX   WAR   AND   MASSACRE. 


and  that  it  was  now  his  turn.     He  wanted  the  rest  of 
the  Indians  to  kill  us  all. 

"  There  was  an  Indian  in  the  party,  John  Moore's 
brother-in-law,  who  took  our  part,  and  he  and  his 
friends  saved  us  from  the  others.  This  Indian  had 
once  come  to  our  house  when  he  was  freezing,  and 
my  mother  took  him  in  and  warmed  him.  He  told 
the  other  Indians  that  he  remembered  this,  and  that 
we  should  live.  They  insisted  that  my  brother  An 
gus  should  shoot  one  of  the  white  men,  but  he  refused 
to  do  so.  Bach  of  the  Indians  had  one  of  the  white 


CAPTIVITY   OF  JOSEPH  K.  BKOWN's   FAMILY.    205 

men  picked  out  to  shoot  as  they  came  up.  My  moth 
er  said  they  were  poor  men,  and  it  would  do  no  good 
to  kill  them.  John  Moore's  brother-in-law  said  they 
should  live  if  she  wanted  them  to.  The  Indians  made 
a  great  fuss  about  it,  and  said  she  ought  to  be  satisfied 
with  what  she  had  got,  but  afterward  consented,  and 
told  the  men  to  start  off.  The  women  staid  with  us. 
After  the  men  had  got  off  a  little,  Leopold  Wohler, 
who  had  a  lime-kiln  at  the  agency,  came  back  to  the 
wagon  after  his  boots,  and  an  Indian  told  him  if  he 
didn't  go  away  he  would  kill  him.  He  started  off 
with  one  boot,  and  came  back  again  after  the  other, 
and  the  Indian  drove  him  away  again  with  the  same 
threat.  He  went  a  short  distance,  and  returned  a 
third  time  to  kiss  his  wife.  The  Indians  then  became 
very  much  enraged,  and  acted  so  fiercely  that  he  was 
glad  to  escape  without  farther  difficulty. 

"  There  were  ten  Indians  close  to  us,  and  twenty -five 
or  thirty  near,  running  into  the  houses.  They  made 
Angus  and  Charles  Blair,  who  were  riding  horses,  dis 
mount  and  give  them  up.  De-wa-nea  put  on  my  sis 
ter's  bonnet,  and  began  singing  a  war  song.  He  was 
very  merry.  He  said  the  Indians  were  now  going  to 
have  a  good  time,  and  if  they  got  killed  it  was  all 
right ;  that  the  whites  wanted  to  kill  them  off,  and 
were  delaying  the  payment  in  order  to  do  it  by  starv 
ation,  and  that  he  preferred  to  be  shot.  We  saw 
three  men  and  a  woman  on  the  road  terribly  hacked 
up.  This  party  had  committed  the  murders.  The 
men  had  been  mowing  together;  their  scythes  and 
pitchforks  lay  near.  Cut-nose  showed  us  his  thumb, 
from  which  a  piece  had  been  bitten  near  the  nail,  and 
he  said  it  was  done  by  one  of  these  men  while  he  was 


206  THE   SIOUX  WAR  AND  MASSACRE. 

working  the  knife  around  in  his  breast ;  that  he  was 
very  hard  to  kill,  and  he  thought  he  would  never  die. 

"  Cut-nose  afterward  went  to  a  wagon,  and  told  a 
Scotch  girl  who  was  in  it  that  he  wanted  her  for  his 
wife,  and  to  get  out  and  follow  him.  She  refused,  and 
then  he  drew  his  knife  and  flourished  it  over  her,  and 
she  got  out  and  went  away  with  him.  That  was  the 
last  I  saw  of  him  until  we  got  to  camp.  He  was 
called  Cut-nose  because  one  of  his  nostrils  had  been 
bitten  out.  This  was  done  by  Other  Day  in  a  quarrel. 

"  When  we  got  to  the  camp  of  the  Kice-Creek  In 
dians,  four  miles  above  the  Bed-Wood  Eiver,  they 
told  us  that  the  Agency  Indians  had  sent  word  for  all 
to  come  down  there,  and  that  those  who  did  not  come 
would  be  taken  care  of  by  the  '  Soldiers'  Lodge.' 
They  were  then  about  starting,  and  an  Indian  made 
Angus  and  myself  hitch  up  a  mule-team  which  he 
said  he  had  taken  from  Marsh's  men  the  day  before. 
He  said  they  had  just  heard  a  cannon  at  the  fort,  and 
they  wanted  to  go  down  and  whip  the  whites  there. 
This  was  about  noon.  We  then  went  down  to  John 
Moore's  house  (this  was  where  Other  Day's  horse  was 
stolen),  and  they  put  us  up  stairs,  where  they  had  two 
or  three  women,  captives.  We  were  there  about  an 
hour,  when  three  Indians  told  us  to  come  up  to  their 
camp  on  the  hill,  where  we  were  to  stop  with  John 
Moore's  mother  or  grandmother.  We  followed  them, 
and  when  we  got  half  way  up  suddenly  missed  them. 
We  supposed  they  hid  from  us,  and  we  wandered  on. 
We  met  a  German  woman  who  had  seven  or  eight 
children  with  her,  all  under  eight  years  of  age — two 
on  her  back,  one  under  each  arm,  and  two  following 
behind.  They  came  along  with  us.  We  went  to 


CAPTIVITY  OF  JOSEPH  K.  BROWN'S   FAMILY.   207 

Moore's  relative,  but  she  said  she  knew  nothing  about 
us,  and  couldn't  take  us,  and  that  we  had  better  go 
down  to  Crow's  village.  We  started,  not  knowing 
where  to  go,  when  a  squaw,  who  was  crying  about 
the  troubles,  met  us,  and  took  us  home  with  her. 
The  Indians  sent  our  team  back  to  the  camp.  They 
gave  Angus  and  I  blankets  and  moccasins,  and  we 
put  them  on  and  went  down  to  see  Little  Crow.  He 
told  us  to  bring  our  folks  down  there,  and,  no  one 
should  hurt  us.  This  was  Tuesday  evening  about 
seven  o'clock.  He  was  in  his  own  house,  and  the 
camp  was  pitched  around  it.  We  went  back  and 
brought  our  folks  down.  Crow  put  us  up  in  the  top 
room  of  the  house,  and  gave  us  buffalo  robes  and  ev 
ery  thing  to  make  us  comfortable.  He  brought  us  a 
candle  as  soon  as  it  was  dark ;  he  was  very  kind  to 
us ;  he  said  he  would  take  as  good  care  of  us  as  he 
could,  but  that  he  didn't  believe  he  could  keep  Char 
ley  Blair  alive  until  morning.  He  gave  him  a  breech- 
clout  and  leggins,  which  he  put  on. 

"During  the  night  an  Indian  or  a  half-breed  came 
in  the  room  down  stairs  where  Crow  was,  and  told 
him  that  we  ought  to  be  killed.  We  overheard  what 
they  said.  The  man  was  very  ugly,  and  said  no  pris 
oners  ought  to  be  taken,  and  that  we  were  related  to 
the  Sissetons,  and  had  no  claim  on  the  Lower  Indians, 
and  there  was  no  reason  why  we  should  be  spared. 
He  said  he  wanted  Crow  to  call  a  council  about  it  im 
mediately.  Crow  told  him  that  he  saved  us  because 
we  were  his  friends,  and  that  he  would  protect  us ; 
that  it  was  too  late  to  hold  a  council  that  night,  and 
he  compelled  him  to  leave. 

"He  gave  us  plenty  to  eat,  and  came  up  several 


208  THE   SIOUX  WAR  AND   MASSACRE. 

times  during  the  night  to  see  how  we  were  getting 
along.  We  begged  him  to  let  Charley  Blair  go.  He 
said  he  couldn't ;  that  the  Indians  knew  he  was  there, 
and  would  kill  him  (Crow)  if  he  allowed  it.  We 
coaxed  him  for  a  couple  of  hours,  when  he  consented, 
and  brought  an  Indian  who  took  Charley  down  to  the 
river  and  left  him  in  the  brush.  He  made  his  escape 
from  there  to  the  fort.  Crow  told  us  not  to  say  any 
thing  about  it,  for  the  Indians  would  kill  him,  and 
that  he  did  it  because  he  had  known  our  folks  and 
Charley  so  long.  He  said  the  young  men  started  the 
massacre,  and  he  couldn't  stop  them.  A  week  after 
that,  Akipa,  an  Upper  Indian,  came  down  from  the 
Yellow-Medicine  Agency  and  took  us  up  with  him. 
From  that  time  until  our  deliverance  we  remained 
with  our  relatives,  and  were  well  treated  by  them." 


MES.  HUGGINS'S   STORY.  209 


CHAPTER  XY. 


AMONG  the  captives  who  were  brought  in  several 
days  after  our  arrival  at  Camp  Eelease  was  Mrs.  So 
phia  Josephine  Huggins,  the  wife  of  the  estimable 
missionary  who  was  killed  at  Lac  qui  Parle.  She  has 
published  the  following  narrative  of  her  adventures. 
It  is  interesting  for  the  minuteness  of  the  details  of 
her  captivity : 

"  The  19th  day  of  August,  1862,  dawned  on  me 
full  of  hope  and  happiness.  It  was  the  twenty -fourth 
anniversary  of  my  birth.  But  before  its  close  it 
proved  to  be  the  saddest  day  of  my  life.  News  of 
the  war  which  broke  out  at  the  Lower  Agency  on 
the  18th  did  not  reach  Lac  qui  Parle  until  the  next 
day.  Then  it  came  with  fearful  suddenness  and  fear 
ful  reality. 

"  On  the  afternoon  of  that  day  three  men  from  Red 
Iron's  village  came  in,  each  carrying  a  gun.  They 
were  quite  friendly  and  talkative,  seeming  very  much 
interested  in  the  sewing-machine  Julia  was  using,  and 
asked  a  great  many  questions  about  it.  About  four 
o'clock  Amos  came  home  from  the  field.  Then  the 
men  went  out ;  and  soon  after  we  heard  the  report  of 
two  guns.  The  Indians  rushed  in,  looking  so  wild 
and  frightened  that  my  first  thought  was  that  the 
Chippeways  were  upon  them.  They  said  to  us,  'Go 
out,  go  out ;  you  shall  live  —  but  go  out.  Take 


210  THE   SIOUX  WAR  AND   MASSACRE. 

nothing  with  you.'  When  I  went  out,  the  oxen  my 
husband  had  been  driving  were  standing  at  the  side 
of  the  house,  and  near  them  was  Julia  on  her  knees, 
bending  over  the  motionless  body.  She  looked  up 
and  said,  '  Oh  Josephine,  Josephine  !'  What  an  ocean 

of  grief  rolled  over  me. 

*  *  *  *  * 

"We  were  driven  awaj^,  Julia  and  I.  We  ran 
over  to  De  Cota's.  Julia  went  first,  carrying  Letta, 
I  staid  behind  until  I  saw  they  were  really  going  to 
shoot  me.  Then,  after  hastily  spreading  a  lounge 
cover  that  I  had  been  sewing  on,  and  had  carried  out 
with  me,  over  the  lifeless  form  of  my  dear  one,  I  fled 
with  Charlie  in  my  arms.  When  I  reached  De  Cota's, 
he  and  his  wife  were  starting  back  with  Julia.  I 
wanted  to  go  with  them,  but  they  thought  it  would 
not  be  safe.  I  knew  Julia  would  see  that  every  thing 
which  it  was  possible  to  do  should  be  done,  so  I  yield 
ed  to  their  judgment. 

"  Mr.  De  Cota  came  home  shortly.  I  asked  him  if 
he  could  not  take  us  to  the  Yellow  Medicine.  He 
said  that  we  would  be  killed  on  the  road.  I  then 
suggested  that  he  should  take  us  across  the  river,  and 
go  across  the  country  to  the  white  settlements.  He 
answered  that  perhaps  he  would  start  to  the  Eed 
Eiver  the  next  day. 

"  When  Julia  returned,  she  told  me  that  Walking 
Spirit  and  others  had  buried  Amos.  The  old  chief 
was  full  of  sorrow,  and  said  that  if  he  had  been  there 
they  should  have  killed  him  before  they  could  have 
killed  Mr.  Huggins. 

"Our  house  was  full  of  plunderers.  Indians  from 
the  Lac  qui  Parle  villages  were  there  as  well  as  the 


MRS.  HUGGINS'S  STORY.  211 

murderers.  Julia  went  in,  and  was  able  to  get  a  few 
things,  which  afterward  proved  valuable  to  me. 

"  It  was  thought  we  would  be  safer  at  Walking 
Spirit's  than  at  De  Cota's,  so  we  went  over  in  the  even 
ing.  Mrs.  De  Cota  intended  to  go  with  us,  but  her 
husband  prevented  it,  probably  thinking  he  would 
not  be  safe  if  she  left  him.  She  sent  her  brother, 
Blue  Lightning,  with  us.  He  did  not  offer  to  carry 
either  of  the  children. 

"  We  had  not  gone  far  before  Ke-yoo-kan-pe  came 
up  to  us,  and,  taking  Charlie  out  of  my  arms,  carried 
him  until  we  reached  the  village.  As  we  passed 
through  it,  a  great  many  women  came  out  to  shake 
hands  with  me.  Some  of  them  laid  their  hands  on 
their  mouths  and  groaned.  The  men  paid  no  atten 
tion  to  me.  When  we  reached  the  chief's  house  he 
received  us  kindly,  shaking  hands  with  me  and  with 
the  children.  His  wife  hurried  to  spread  a  buffalo 
robe  at  the  farther  end  of  the  room  for  us  to  sit  on. 
All  the  time  that  I  was  with  Walking  Spirit  my 
seat  was,  whether  in  a  tent  or  in  a  house,  at  the  end 
farthest  from  the  door — the  most  honorable  place. 
We  slept  on  the  robe,  but  were  furnished  with  pil 
lows  by  the  chief's  wife,  one  of  which  I  recognized  as 
having  been  mine.  She  gave  me  several  other  arti 
cles  which  had  been  mine. 

"There  was  a  great  deal  of  noise  in  the  village  dur 
ing  the  night — loud  talking,  singing,  and  yelling;  but 
the  children  slept  soundly,  not  realizing  what  had  be 
fallen  them,  nor  the  dangers  before  them.  Men  went 
and  came  through  the  whole  night  long  to  talk  to  the 
chief. 

"  The   next   morning   we   had  beef  for  breakfast 


212  THE   SIOUX  WAK  AND   MASSACKE. 

which  had  been  killed  at  our  house  the  evening  be 
fore.  They  gave  me,  as  they  always  did,  bountifully 
of  the  best  they  had. 

"  In  the  afternoon  Mr.  John  Longee  invited  us  over 
to  his  house  across  the  river,  thinking  we  would  be 
safer  there  than  in  the  Indian  village.  Walking 
Spirit  told  us  to  do  as  we  thought  best,  and  we  finally 
concluded  to  go.  One  woman  packed  Letta  all  the 
way ;  another  packed  Charlie  as  far  as  Lame  Bear's 
village.  As  we  passed  through  it  I  saw  a  great  deal 
of  fresh  beef  hanging  up  to  dry.  My  husband's  writ 
ing  desk  was  there ;  also  many  of  our  chairs.  I  saw 
Indian  children  dressed  in  my  children's  clothes.  I 
could  hardly  bear  these  reminders  of  the  home  which 
had  been  so  cruelly  torn  from  me.  I  did  not,  how 
ever,  see  any  Indians  that  I  knew  except  £  Old  Fuss.' 
He  shook  hands  with  me,  and  made  a  speech,  of 
which  I  understood  nothing  but  Amos's  name. 

"  We  staid  at  Longee's  until  Friday,  and  had  a  quiet, 
lonely  time.  We  saw  no  Indians  while  there  except 
the  woman  who  packed  Letta  over.  She  staid  with 
us  all  the  time.  Julia  and  I  were  in  constant  alarm. 
Longee  and  a  Frenchman  always  slept  with  their  guns 
beside  them,  in  readiness  for  use,  or  staid  outside 
watching.  Thursday,  Mr.  Longee  went  over  to  the 
village,  and  brought  back  dreadful  accounts  of  the 
war  below.  It  was  reported  that  the  missionaries  and 
the  whites  at  both  agencies  were  killed.  Oh  what  a 
day  that  was  —  full  of  grief,  anxiety,  and  surprise. 
Julia  had  saved  two  pocket  Bibles  from  the  hands  of 
the  plunderers.  One  of  them  was  my  husband's. 
How  precious  it  was  to  me !  Precious  for  the  sake 
of  him  who  had  once  pondered  its  sacred  pages,  as 


MRS.  HUGGINS'S  STORY.  213 

well  as  for  the  blessed  teachings  and  glorious  promises 
it  contained. 

"In  the  evening  Julia's  brother  came  up  from  be 
low,  dressed  like  an  Indian.  He  said  that  he  had 
come  for  her,  and  that  if  she  put  on  the  Indian  dress, 
and  staid  with  him,  she  would  be  safe,  but  that  it 
would  not  be  prudent  for  me  to  accompany  them. 
Mr.  De  Cota  was  there,  and  invited  me  to  live  in  his 
family.  It  was  decided  that  I  should  do  so. 

"  A  white  man,  who  had  escaped  from  Big  Stone 
Lake,  came  in  that  night.  Mr.  Longee  gave  him  a 
pair  of  moccasins  and  some  food.  Every  one  advised 
the  Frenchman  to  go  with  him,  but  he  refused  to  do 
so.  After  a  few  weeks  he  went  with  Mr.  Longee  to 
Eed  Eiver. 

"  Friday  morning  Julia  left  me.  She  had  been  my 
comforter,  my  adviser,  my  help  in  all  my  troubles. 
Now  I  was  left  alone.  I  realized  more  than  ever  my 
need  of  strength  and  fortitude,  and  prayed  that  I  might 
be  prepared  for  whatever  I  might  be  called  to  pass 
through. 

"  After  Julia  had  gone,  Mr.  Longee  and  I  started  to 
"Walking  Spirit's  village.  We  went  on  horseback, 
carrying  the  children.  How  I  suffered  with  fear  as 
we  trotted  along  through  the  woods.  It  seemed  as  if 
every  tree  hid  some  skulking  foe,  ready  to  spring  out 
and  murder  us.  When  we  reached  Lame  Bear's  vil 
lage,  Longee  thought  it  best  not  to  go  any  farther,  as 
there  were  a  good  many  men  about,  and  we  should  be 
noticed  on  horseback.  After  finding  an  Indian  woman 
to  go  with  me  and  pack  Letta,  he  bade  me  good-by. 
I  carried  Charlie  in  my  arms,  and  as  I  had  eaten  noth 
ing  that  day,  I  felt  faint  and  sick.  As  we  were  pass- 


214  THE   SIOUX  WAR  AND   MASSACRE. 

ing  through  the  village  a  woman  called  after  me.  I 
looked  around,  and  then  went  on.  She  ran  after  me, 
and  finally  made  me  understand  that  she  wished  me 
to  go  to  her  house  and  eat.  I  told  her  as  well  as  I 
could  that  I  was  going  to  Walking  Spirit's,  and  would 
eat  there.  She  seemed  satisfied  and  went  back.  Pres 
ently  another  woman  hailed  me.  When  she  came  up 
she  took  Charlie  and  put  him  on  her  back,  motioning 
me  to  follow,  which  I  did  as  well  as  I  could.  When 
we  came  to  the  strip  of  woods  that  lies  between  the 
two  villages,  the  women  were  afraid  of  something,  I 
don't  know  what.  They  told  me  to  go  before;  so  I 
led  the  way,  trembling  with  fear.  When  I  reached 
De  Cota's,  Mrs.  De  Cota,  who  was  standing  outside  of 
the  tent,  motioned  me  to  go  to  the  chief's  house. 
What  did  it  mean?  Did  they  not  invite  me  there? 
Mr.  De  Cota  was  sitting  near  by,  but  as  he  did  not 
look  at  me,  I  passed  on  without  speaking.  I  felt  so 
hurt  —  so  much  disappointed !  What  should  I  do  if 
I  received  as  cold  a  reception  at  Walking  Spirit's? 
How  thankful  I  was  when  I  went  in  and  met  a  kind 
welcome  from  the  chief's  wife.  Here  I  found  food 
and  water  for  myself  and  children.  I  was  so  tired, 
so  sad,  that  I  did  not  try  to  speak  or  ask  for  any  thing; 
but  she  seemed  to  understand  how  I  felt,  and  kindly, 
even  tenderly  supplied  my  wants. 

"  Walking  Spirit  was  not  at  home,  and  did  not  come 
home  until  several  days  afterward.  When  he  came 
and  saw  me,  his  cheery  *  Ho-ho-ho,'  as  he  held  out  his 
hand  to  me,  sounded  very  pleasantly.  Then  he  talked 
to  me  very  kindly,  I  know,  though  I  could  not  under 
stand  much  of  what  he  said.  I  understood  that  he 
told  me  to  stay  there  in  his  house,  and  that  when  he 


OF  THE 

UNIVERSITY 

MKS.  HUGGINS'S  STORY.  215 

could  he  would  take  me  to  my  friends  below.  My 
poor,  weary,  anxious  heart  felt  comforted.  This  old 
man  was  my  friend  and  protector.  I  could  here  find 
something  like  rest  and  security. 

"  For  the  next  six  weeks  I  found  a  home  in  Walk 
ing  Spirit's  family.  True,  I  was  a  captive  in  an  ene 
my's  country,  longing  for  deliverance  —  subject  to 
many  inconveniences,  many  hardships ;  but  the  chief 
and  his  wife  were  kind  to  me,  and  made  my  life  as 
light  as  possible.  Here  my  husband's  Bible  was  my 
constant  companion. 

"  Walking  Spirit's  family  consisted  of  himself  and 
wife,  and  his  wife's  mother,  and  one  son,  ISTa-ho-ton- 
ma-ne,  a  boy  fourteen  or  fifteen  years  old.  These, 
with  myself  and  children,  made  a  family  of  seven. 
Besides,  the  chief  had  children  and  grandchildren  in 
the  village,  who  were  in  to  see  us  so  often  as  to  form 
a  part  of  the  same  family.  We  had  also  many  other 
visitors.  If  they  spoke  to  me  at  all,  it  was  with  kind 
ness  and  respect.  They  frequently  said,  '  The  white 
woman  feels  sad ;  I  want  to  shake  hands  with  her.' 

"I  soon  learned  to  adopt  myself  to  the  life  and  cir 
cumstances  about  me,  and  make  one  in  the  society  in 
which  I  lived.  I  always  tried  to  be  cheerful  and 
pleasant  to  others,  and  in  so  doing  found  enjoyment 
and  even  happiness  myself.  I  assisted  the  chief's 
wife  in  sewing,  cooking,  and  bringing  water  from  the 
brook.  I  was  seldom  asked  to  do  any  thing,  but  did 
what  I  chose  to  do. 

"  The  chief  and  his  wife  never  seemed  displeased 
with  me  but  once.  Then  I  had  gone  over  to  Sacred 
Nest's,  and  had  staid  nearly  all  day.  When  I  went 
back  the  chief  said  that  I  did  not  do  right  to  go  away 


216  THE   SIOUX   WAK   AND   MASSACRE. 

and  stay  so  long — that  it  was  good  for  me  to  stay  in 
his  house.  His  wife  remarked  that  the  Sissetonwans 
would  come  down,  and  they  might  kill  me  if  I  did 
not  stay  there.  After  that  I  did  not  go  to  the  neigh 
bors'  tepees  unless  I  was  sent  for  to  eat,  and  then  I 
did  not  stay  long. 

"  The  children,  who  were  not  afraid  of  any  one, 
were  petted  and  caressed.  Letta  was  taught  to  call 
the  chief  grandfather,  and  his  wife  grandmother.  The 
chief's  son  she  called  uncle. 

lt  One  day,  a  few  weeks  after  I  went  there,  the 
chief's  wife's  brothers  came  in,  bringing  a  French 
man,  who  spoke  some  English,  for  interpreter,  and 
asked  me  if  I  would  not  give  him  one  of  my  children. 
He  said  he  lived  up  north ;  that  he  had  no  children ; 
and  if  I  would  give  him  one  of  mine,  he  would  keep 
it  as  his  own  child.  I  saw  that  the  man  was  really 
in  earnest,  and  I  answered  very  decidedly,  '  No ;  I  can 
not  give  either  of  them  to  any  one.'  After  waiting  a 
few  minutes,  I  said,  '  "What  is  he  going  to  do  about  it 
— what  does  he  say  ?'  The  Frenchman  replied,  '  He 
will  not  take  them  if  you  do  not  give  them  to  him.' 
The  chief  was  in,  and  I  thought  perhaps  this  was  his 
answer  instead  of  the  other  man's. 

"  They  talked  some  time  with  the  chief,  but  did  not 
say  any  thing  more  to  me.  Afterward  the  old  woman 
seemed  displeased  about  it.  She  said,  '  I  thought  you 
would  have  given  Letta  to  him,  but  you  did  not.' 
She  had  often  before  asked  me  something  about  Letta 
which  I  did  not  understand.  I  now  know  that  she 
had  wanted  me  to  give  her  to  her  son.  She  never 
forgave  this  offense,  but  often  reminded  me  of  it. 
She  had  loved  both  the  children  very  much  before 


MRS.  HUGGINS'S   STORY.  217 

this,  but  now  she  treated  them  with  great  indifference, 
and  sometimes  was  quite  cross  to  them.  I  did  not 
pay  any  attention  to  this,  and  so  we  had  no  quarrels. 
But  I  was  very  much  afraid  my  children  would  be 
stolen.  I  was  afraid  to  leave  them  with  the  old 
woman  when  I  went  for  water,  as  I  had  often  done 
before.  I  was  afraid  to  see  them  packed  around  by 
the  Indian  women,  as  they  often  were;  and  at  night, 
I  was  afraid  they  would  be  taken  from  me  while  I 
slept. 

"  Indian  living  did  not  agree  with  Charlie.  It  was 
not  long  before  he  became  quite  unwell,  and  he  did 
not  regain  his  health  during  our  stay  with  the  In 
dians.  For  many  days  together  we  had  no  bread. 
We  lived  mostly  on  corn  and  potatoes,  of  which  we 
had  plenty.  Sometimes  we  had  beef  and  sometimes 
dog  meat.  Once  in  a  while  we  had  coffee  and  sugar. 
When  our  neighbors  had  something  better  than  we 
had,  they  often  sent  some  to  me,  or,  more  frequently, 
sent  me  to  go  and  eat  with  them. 

"  One  night,  at  bedtime,  some  one  came  for  me  to 
go  out  and  eat.  I  was  not  hungry,  but  never  refused 
to  go  when  sent  for.  Walking  Spirit  was  invited,  and 
went  also.  We  had  a  good  supper.  There  was  a 
piece  of  nice  carpet  spread  for  me  to  sit  on,  and  a 
white  towel  to  put  my  plate  on.  I  had  one  of  my 
plates  that  I  used  to  have  to  eat  on,  and  one  of  my 
sauce-plates  to  drink  out  of.  We  had  potatoes,  rice, 
dried  apples,  and  cold  water  for  supper.  The  chief 
carried  home  the  remains  of  his  supper  to  his  wife, 
but  I  always  left  what  I  and  my  children  could  not  eat. 

"  Sometimes,  when  I  thought  of  the  dirty  dishes 
my  food  was  on,  the  dirty  kettles  it  was  cooked  in, 

K 


218  THE   SIOUX  WAR  AND   MASSACRE. 

and  the  dirty  hands  that  prepared  it,  my  stomach  re 
belled.  But  I  tried  to  keep  away  such  troublesome 
thoughts,  and  make  the  best  of  what  I  had. 

"  When  I  first  went  to  Walking  Spirit's,  I  was  per 
plexed  to  know  what  to  wash  in.  They  had  neither 
wash-basin  nor  tub.  Seeing  my  difficulty,  the  chief's 
wife  went  to  one  of  the  neighbors  and  brought  home 
the  half  of  a  powder-keg,  which  she  gave  me.  This  I 
found  a  great  convenience  as  long  as  I  staid  there. 
When  I  wanted  to  wash  my  children's  clothes,  I  clean 
ed  out  and  used  an  old  iron  heater  that  was  used  as  a 
dog's  dish.  Sometimes  I  had  soap  and  sometimes  I 
had  none.  Once  or  twice  the  chief's  wife  borrowed  a 
tub  and  washboard  for  me  from  the  Frenchman's  wife 
that  lived  in  the  village.  The  washboard  was  one  that 
had  been  mine.  I  was  thankful  to  get  clean  clothes 
for  myself  and  children,  though  they  were  unironed. 

"  The  Indian  dress  that  De  Cota  had  promised  me 
I  never  got.  I  wore  my  own  clothes  all  the  time. 
There  were  a  good  many  articles  of  clothing  given  to 
me  while  I  was  in  the  village,  most  of  those  things 
that  had  been  plundered  from  our  house.  I  never 
asked  for  any  thing,  though  I  frequently  saw  some  of 
my  things  that  I  and  my  children  really  needed  worn 
by  the  Indian  women  and  their  children.  Sometimes 
I  saw  Indian  men  wearing  articles  of  clothing  that 
had  belonged  to  Mr.  Huggins. 

"  Sacred  Nest  and  wife  were  out  on  a  buffalo  hunt 
when  I  went  to  the  village,  and  did  not  come  home 
for  a  week  or  two  afterward.  When  they  came  to 
see  me  I  felt  that  I  had  met  with  loving,  sympathizing 
friends.  They  sat  down  and  wept  with  me.  Letta 
was  overjoyed  at  seeing  again  her  Indian  mother,  as 


219 

she  called  Sacred  Nest's  wife.  She  took  her  in  her 
arms  and  stroked  her,  and  said,  'Poor  thing — poor 
thing !'  Sacred  Nest  said  to  me,  '  It  is  hard,  very 
hard  I'  And  then  he  said,  'God  is  good,  though  all 
men  are  bad.  With  Him  it  is  light,  though  all  was 
dark  here.'  The  same  day  they  sent  for  us  to  eat 
with  them.  When  we  came  away  they  gave  Letta  as 
much  buffalo  meat  as  she  could  carry  home. 

"  Sabbath  days  in  our  village  were  very  much  like 
other  days.  I  tried  to  keep  the  time  and  remember 
the  Sabbath,  but  I  found  afterward  that  I  had  got  one 
day  behind  the  time.  I  do  not  know  how  many 
Mondays  I  kept  for  Sunday. 

"One  day  the  chief's  wife  called  me  out  to  see 
something.  On  the  road,  coming  down  from  the 
north,  was  a  great  company  of  Indians.  The  women 
of  the  village  gathered  around  me,  and  told  me  I  must 
stay  in  the  house  very  closely  while  they  were  going 
past — that  I  must  not  let  them  see  me.  I  went  into 
the  house,  but  presently  the  chief's  wife  came  and 
hurried  me  into  the  tent  that  stood  by,  and  told  me 
to  be  very  quiet — that  I  must  not  let  the  children 
cry  or  even  talk  loud.  The  Northerners  were  com 
ing  right  to  the  village.  I  could  see  a  great  many 
warriors  on  horseback,  a  great  many  carts,  and  a  great 
many  people  on  foot.  It  looked  to  me  like  a  very 
great  multitude.  I  almost  smothered  the  children 
trying  to  keep  them  quiet,  for  they  would  talk  and 
cry  to  go  out.  At  last  I  frightened  them  into  some 
thing  like  quietude  by  telling  them  that  there  were 
wicked  men  out  there  who  would  hurt  them. 

"  On,  on  came  the  host,  right  past  where  we  were, 
and  then  stopped  a  little  distance  off.  The  children 


220  THE   SIOUX  WAR  AND  MASSACRE. 

were  frightened  into  silence  by  the  noise  they  made. 
I  could  look  out  of  a  hole  in  the  tent  and  see  almost 
as  well  as  if  I  had  been  on  the  outside.  There  were 
very  few  women  among  them — I  think  not  more  than 
one  woman  to  six  men.  There  was  great  excitement 
in  the  village ;  men,  women,  and  children  were  run 
ning  about  as  if  they  did  not  know  what  to  do. 
Many  of  them  were  preparing  and  carrying  food  to 
our  formidable  visitors.  I  think  the  Indians  were 
frightened  as  well  as  myself.  The  warriors  galloped 
about  as  if  to  show  themselves,  frequently  firing  off 
guns.  Then  I  heard  one  chief's  voice  sounding  loud 
above  all  others.  I  could  see  him.  He  was  holding 
his  head  high,  walking  slowly  back  and  forth,  making 
a  speech.  I  wondered  what  he  was  talking  about, 
but  I  understood  nothing.  Before  noon  they  were 
gone,  and  our  village  was  again  quiet. 

"A  day  or  two  after  the  Northerners  had  gone 
down,  all  the  men  in  the  village  went  away — Walk 
ing  Spirit  on  his  old  horse,  Na-ho-ton-ma-ne  on  his 
colt,  and  Mrs.  Walking  Spirit  on  foot,  packing  food, 
followed  the  rest.  For  three  days  and  two  nights  the 
old  woman  and  I  were  left  alone.  This  was  before  I 
had  offended  her,  and  she  was  very  kind  to  me  and 
my  children.  I  suffered  terribly  from  fear — from 
morning  till  night  and  from  night  till  morning  I  was 
afraid — but  nothing  came  to  disturb  us. 

"  Between  one  and  two  weeks  after  the  Northern 
ers  went  down,  some  of  these  passed  up  north,  and 
stopped  at  our  village.  I  was  not  taken  to  the  tent 
this  time.  Walking  Spirit  told  me  they  were  coming 
to  his  house  to  eat  after  a  while,  but  that  I  need  not 
be  afraid ;  he  would  not  let  any  one  hurt  rne.  An 


MRS.  HUGGINS'S  STOEY.  221 

Lour  or  two  afterward  he  came  in  and  said,  'They 
are  coming  now;  they  will  sit  here,  and  here,  and 
here;  they  will  fill  up  the  house;  you  must  come 
and  sit  here  behind  me.'  His  place  was  near  the  door, 
on  the  right-hand  side.  He  kept  two  guns  by  him, 
and  told  me  several  times  that  I  need  not  be  afraid ; 
if  any  one  tried  to  harm  me,  he  would  shoot  him. 

"  So  the  children  and  I  got  in  behind  him,  and 
awaited  the  coming  of  the  guests.  It  was  as  the  chief 
said  it  would  be ;  the  men  filled  the  house ;  some  of 
them  were  Walking  Spirit's  soldiers;  the  rest  were 
Northerners.  The  women  carried  food  to  the  door, 
but  did  not  come  in.  The  dinner  consisted  of  fried 
bread  and  coffee.  "Walking  Spirit,  and  several  others 
that  sat  near,  gave  the  children  bread,  and  let  them 
drink  out  of  their  cups  of  coffee.  There  were  several 
speeches  made,  but  I  did  not  understand  what  they 
talked  about.  The  Northerners  went  away  first. 
After  they  were  gone,  the  chief  turned  to  me  and 
said,  '  These  are  all  my  soldiers.'  Perhaps  he  intend 
ed  to  let  me  know  that  the  danger  was  past.  After 
talking  a  little  while  the  men  all  left,  and  things  went 
on  as  usual. 

"One  day,  when  we  were  all  out  braiding  corn, 
some  one  brought  a  letter  to  the  chief.  As  he  could 
not  read  it  himself,  he  handed  it  to  me  to  look  at.  It 
was  a  nice-looking  letter,  written  in  Dakota,  directed 
to  Walking  Spirit.  When  I  told  him  I  could  not 
read  it,  he  said  he  would  take  it  to  Sacred  Nest ;  he 
would  read  it  to  him.  I  waited  anxiously  to  hear  the 
news  from  this  letter,  hoping  that  it  might  bring  some 
word  to  me  from  friends  below. 

"  When  the  chief  came  back,  he  said  that  Good 


222  THE   SIOUX  WAR  AND   MASSACEE. 

Day,  a  man  who  lived  at  the  Yellow  Medicine,  had 
written  the  letter.  Then  he  said  to  me,  '  That  letter 
made  me  very  angry.  He  wants  you  to  go  and  live 
with  him.'  Presently  he  said,  '  Do  you  want  to  go  ?' 
I  said  I  did  not  know,  and  asked  him  if  Good  Day 
was  a  good  man.  He  said,  'No,  he  is  a  bad  man.' 
Seeing  that  I  still  thought  about  it,  and  did  not  un 
derstand  all  he  said,  he  went  and  brought  the  French 
man  to  tell  me  in  English.  He  said, '  Good  Day  want 
ed  to  buy  me  for  a  wife ;  that  he  already  had  a  wife ; 
and  the  chief  was  very  angry  at  Good  Day  because 
he  had  thought  of  such  a  thing.'  Then  the  old  chief 
showed  me  how  he  had  thrown  the  letter  in  the  fire, 
because  he  was  so  very  angry. 

"  One  day,  when  the  old  woman  and  I  were  alone 
in  the  house,  she  started  out,  saying  that  she  would 
soon  be  back ;  that  I  must  stay  in  the  house,  for  there 
was  a  bad  man  in  the  village  who  would  kill  me. 
This  is  what  I  understood  her  to  say,  but  I  did  not 
understand  her  fully.  Very  soon  afterward  the  blank 
et  door  of  the  house  was  thrown  up,  and  there  came 
in  a  young  man  with  a  drawn  sword  in  his  hand. 
He  looked  very  fierce,  and  his  face  was  painted  most 
frightfully.  One  of  the  neighbor's  children  followed 
him  in,  and  looked  at  him  and  then  at  me  with  a  look 
of  terror ;  then  he  ran  out. 

"  Walking  Spirit  was  in  another  part  of  the  village, 
and  the  little  boy  ran  as  fast  as  he  could,  and  told  him 
that  there  was  an  angry  man  in  his  house  going  to 
kill  the  white  woman.  I  supposed  this  to  be  the  man 
the  old  woman  had  told  me  of,  and  that  he  had  come 
on  purpose  to  kill  me.  I  wonder  now.  at  the  presence 
of  mind  I  felt  then.  I  made  a  great  effort  to  show 


MRS.  HUGGINS'S  STORY.  223 

no  fear,  no  surprise.  I  looked  up  at  him  once,  and 
then  bent  my  face  again  over  my  sewing,  though  I 
trembled  so  violently  that  it  was  with  difficulty  I  held 
my  needle. 

"After  looking  at  me  a  moment  without  speak 
ing,  he  went  away.  I  drew  a  long  breath  then, 
and  thought,  '  He  is  gone,  and  I  and  my  children  are 
saved  alive.'  A  moment  after  and  the  chief  came 
running.  He  sprang  in  at  the  door,  puffing  and  pant 
ing,  with  his  hair  all  blown  over  his  face.  I  looked 
up  and  smiled,  saying,  c  You  frighten  me,  coming  up 
in  such  a  hurry.'  ''You frighten  me]  he  replied,  as  he 
sat  down  to  rest ;  '  I  was  afraid  you  would  be  killed 
before  I  got  here.' 

"The  women  came  in  presently  and  told  us  all 
about  the  angry  man.  He  did  not  want  to  kill  me, 
but  his  wife,  who  had  run  away  from  him.  He  had 
come  into  the  chief's  house  in  search  of  her.  He 
found  her  soon  afterward,  but  did  not  kill  her;  he 
only  cut  up  her  pack  with  his  sword. 

"  I  met  with  several  such  frights  as  this,  but  always 
passed  through  unharmed.  When  there  were  stran 
gers  about  I  was  frequently  hid  in  the  tent  that  stood 
by  the  house.  I  never  tried  to  hide  unless  I  was 
told  to  do  so,  and  then  I  remained  in  my  hiding-place 
until  they  told  me  the  danger  was  past. 

"Several  days  before  we  started  north  they  told 
me  that  the  Indians  were  all  going  north — that  Julia, 
and  her  brothers,  and  the  white  prisoners  below  were 
all  going.  They  told  me  of  a  great  many  white  sol 
diers  that  were  down  below  somewhere.  They  said 
that  Mr.  Riggs  and  Dr.  Williamson  were  among  them. 
I  did  not  understand  the  half  of  what  they  told  me. 


224:  THE  SIOUX  WAR  AND   MASSACRE. 

I  could  only  conjecture,  and  wish,  and  wonder.  Walk 
ing  Spirit  told  me  several  times  that  if  Mr.  Kiggs  and 
Dr.  Williamson  sent  for  him,  he  would  take  me  and 
the  children  in  a  wagon  and  go.  I  thought  I  could 
not  do  better  than  to  wait  patiently  until  the  time  of 
my  deliverance  came. 

"  The  whole  village  was  now  preparing  for  their 
journey,  gathering  and  burying  corn  and  potatoes, 
pounding  corn  off  the  cob  to  take  with  them,  and 
bundling  up  their  goods.  Some  kept  their  wagons 
partly  loaded  all  the  time.  Every  one  was  in  a  hurry, 
and  I  helped  all  I  could.  The  chief's  wife  and  I,  with 
some  assistance  from  her  mother  and  the  chief  him 
self,  pounded  corn  until  we  had  filled  five  sacks,  for 
our  provisions  by  the  way.  We  had  as  many  sacks 
of  potatoes,  but  no  meat  or  flour. 

"  The  women  seemed  to  regret  very  much  leaving 
home,  and  said  they  were  going  to  a  bad  country, 
where  they  would  have  no  wood,  and  very  little  to 
eat.  At  last  word  came  that  the  white  prisoners  were 
all  killed,  and  that  the  Indians  who  did  not  flee  north 
would  be  killed  in  consequence.  A  great  many  In 
dians  were  on  the  road  that  day,  and  most  of  our 
village  went.  The  chief  was  almost  the  last  to  go. 
•»•«•**** 

"  At  night  we  camped  in  a  valley,  pitched  our  tent, 
staked  out  the  animals,  and  ate  a  supper  of  skunk 
and  potatoes.  Oh  how  lonely  and  quiet  it  was  that 
night.  I  enjoyed  the  solitude,  and  peaceful  trust  filled 
my  heart.  I  loved  to  think  of  God's  beautiful  works 
all  around  and  above  us,  and  of  his  protecting,  loving 
care  guarding  and  guiding  us. 

"  Early  the  next  morning  a  man  rode  up  to  the  tent 


225 

and  called  out  something  that  made  the  family  all  start 
to  their  feet.  They  pulled  down  the  tent,  hurried 
things  into  the  wagon,  and  started  as  quickly  as  pos 
sible.  We  soon  joined  a  company  of  Indians,  and 
traveled  until  afternoon  without  stopping.  I  had  a 
little  parched  corn  for  the  children,  but  they,  as  well 
as  myself,  were  tired  and  hungry.  Charlie  was  sick 
and  fretful. 

"  We  traveled  on  for  four  days,  over  beautiful  prai 
ries,  and  in  sight  of  beautiful  lakes.  Sometimes  I  felt 
cheerful,  and  sometimes  very  sad  and  desponding. 
Charlie  was  growing  weaker  every  day.  I  feared  he 
could  not  endure  Indian  life  much  longer,  and  I  saw 
no  prospect  of  rescue.  How  hard  it  was  to  think  that 
my  darling  might  die.  Then,  too,  came  the  fear  that 
we  might  all  starve  during  the  coming  winter.  An 
other  fear  was  that  Little  Crow's  people,  or  some  of 
the  Northerners,  would  overpower  Walking  Spirit, 
and  take  me.  How  I  suffered  when  I  thought  of  these 
things.  But,  generally,  I  felt  hopeful  that  some  way 
would  be  provided,  and  we  be  rescued  to  our  friends, 
who,  I  knew,  were  earnestly  praying  for  our  release. 

"Sometimes,  as  we  were  traveling,  my  Indian  friends 
would  see  what  they  supposed  might  be  enemies,  and 
they  would  bid  me  lie  down  and  cover  up.  I  always 
hid  when  they  told  me  to,  without  waiting  to  see  what 
or  where  the  danger  was. 

"  One  day  our  company  had  stopped  for  dinner,  and 
some  other  Indians  came  into  camp.  Among  them 
were  Sacred  Nest  and  his  wife.  Letta  ran  to  meet 
them,  reaching  out  her  arms,  and  screaming,  *  My  In 
dian  mother,  my  Indian  mother.'  Mrs.  Sacred  Nest 
took  her  up,  and  kissed  her  most  affectionately,  and 
K2 


226  THE   SIOUX  WAK  AND   MASSACRE. 

gave  her  a  piece  of  bread  wrapped  in  white  cotton. 
She  had  brought  it  from  home  on  purpose  for  Letta. 

"  The  last  night  before  we  started  back  we  camped 
in  company  with  a  great  number  of  Indians.  They 
had  a  great  many  wagons,  horses,  and  cattle.  I  count 
ed  about  eighty  yoke  of  oxen.  Mrs.  Walking  Spirit 
said  there  were  a  great  many  bad  Indians  there.  In 
the  morning,  a  man  brought  some  news  which  I  did 
not  understand;  and  when  the  chief's  wife  told  me 
something  about  it,  and  asked  if  I  was  glad,  and  want 
ed  to  go,  I  said,  '  I  don't  know.'  When  we  started 
that  morning,  we  left  the  rest  of  the  company  and 
turned  back.  I  did  not  know  what  it  meant,  and  was 
afraid  to  hope.  Still  I  did  hope,  and  was  in  a  feverish 
state  of  anxiety  and  surprise.  At  noon  we  camped, 
and  the  family  bustled  about  preparing  for  visitors. 
We  seated  ourselves  in  the  tent.  Oh,  how  my  heart 
burned  with  surprise  and  delight  when  Enos  Grood 
Hail,  Lazarus  Eusty,  and,  in  a  moment,  Kobert  Hop 
kins  and  David  Eenville.  entered.  They  looked  so 
pleased  and  happy  that  I  knew  they  had  good  news. 
When  they  were  seated,  Enos  drew  two  letters  from 
his  pocket ;  one  for  Walking  Spirit,  from  Colonel  Sib- 
ley,  written  in  English,  and  translated  by  Mr.  Riggs. 
Walking  Spirit  sent  for  Sacred  Nest  to  come  and  read 
his  letter  to  him.  While  it  was  being  read  twice  — 
once  by  Sacred  Nest  and  once  by  Enos,  the  pipe  was 
passed  around  the  circle,  each  smoking  in  his  turn. 
The  chief  handed  it  to  me,  saying  that  he  was  sent  for, 
and  was  going,  and  then  inquired  who  had  written  my 
letter,  and  what  it  contained. 

"  Colonel  Sibley  was  then  camped  with  his  soldiers 
near  Lac  qui  Parle,  and  had  sent  for  me  by  these 


MRS.  HUGGINS'S  STORY.  227 

Friendly  Indians.  Here,  then,  was  deliverance.  I 
could  not  sleep  that  night,  my  thoughts  were  so  busy. 
Next  morning,  while  the  chief's  wife  prepared  break 
fast,  I  mended  the  chief's  clothes,  so  that  he  might  ap 
pear  as  respectably  as  possible.  I  finished,  and  gave 
her  the  thread  and  scissors.  She  handed  the  scissors 
back,  telling  me  to  keep  them.  They  shall  always  be 
a  remembrance  of  her. 

"  Then  I  bade  my  friends  good-by,  and  went  with 
the  men  who  had  been  sent  for  me.  Sacred  Nest  gen 
erously  gave  his  wagon  for  our  use.  Enos  Good  Hail 
brought  two  German  girls  and  a  half-breed  boy  to  go 
with  us.  He  cried  as  if  his  heart  would  break  to  leave 
the  woman  who  had  taken  care  of  him.  In  a  short 
time  I  succeeded  in  comforting  him.  The  girls  talked 
in  German  almost  continually. 

"  The  first  night  we  camped  near  where  the  old 
trading  posts  at  Big  Stone  Lake  had  been.  Lame  Bear 
and  some  of  his  people  were  camped  there.  "We  were 
very  hospitably  entertained  by  them.  Some  one  lent 
us  a  tent.  Enos  Good  Hail  made  a  bed  for  me  and 
my  children,  and  assisted  us  in  every  way  possible. 
I  was  very  tired  and  almost  sick. 

uThe  day  before  we  reached  Camp  Eelease  we 
passed  twelve  men  seated  on  the  ground  smoking. 
They  were  fine-looking  fellows,  painted  most  savagely. 
They  looked  like  warriors  and  murderers.  I  was  sure 
Good  Hail  was  afraid  of  them,  though  he  stopped  to 
talk  and  smoke  with  them.  When  he  went  on  he 
drove  very  fast,  frequently  looking  back,  as  if  he  fear 
ed  pursuit.  That  night  we  camped  in  sight  of  Lac 
qui  Parle.  We  left  the  wagon,  and  camped  some  dis 
tance  from  the  road,  at  the  foot  of  a  hill.  (This  was 


228  THE   SIOUX  WAR  AND   MASSACRE. 

Dakota  precaution  against  enemies.)  The  children 
and  I  had  all  the  bedding  there  was ;  but  the  night 
was  cold,  and  we  had  no  tent,  so  that  we  suffered  some 
what.  I  lay  awake  nearly  all  night,  in  great  fear  of 
the  men  we  saw  the  day  before. 

"  When  we  passed  the  place  the  next  day  which  I 
once  called  home,  Enos  and  Walking  Spirit  went  with 
me  to  the  grave  of  my  husband.  We  drove  in  stakes 
to  protect  it  as  well  as  we  could.  Then  I  walked 
around  the  desolated  place  where  our  houses  had  been 
—went  to  the  stream  where  Amos  used  to  catch  fish, 
and  to  every  familiar  spot.  Much  was  unchanged, 
and  yet  how  much  was  changed — how  much  was  gone ! 

"  An  hour's  ride  brought  us  to  Camp  Eelease.  I 
was  worn  down,  faint,  and  sick,  for  the  fatigue  and 
excitement  of  the  last  three  days  had  quite  prostrated 
me.  During  the  two  weeks  which  we  spent  in  the 
camp,  Charlie  and  I  gained  in  health  and  strength. 
Then  we  proceeded  on  our  way  to  join  our  friends 
below." 

In  addition  to  the  above  facts,  showing  the  kind 
treatment  which  Mrs.  Huggins  received  during  her 
captivity,  she  tells  us  how  delicately  her  need  of  a 
shawl  was  supplied  by  an  Indian  woman,  who  came 
up  behind  her,  and  placed  one  on  her  shoulders.  An 
other  Dakota  woman,  Amanda,  often  sent  milk  to 
Letta  and  Charlie.  She  also  went  down  to  the  Yellow 
Medicine  to  get  flour  for  the  white  woman  who  had 
sought  their  protection. 

"We  have  a  white  woman  with  us,"  she  said,  "and 
we  keep  her  very  carefully ;  we  don't  allow  a  young 
man  to  speak  to  her." 


OF  THE 

UNIVERSITY 

OF 


HOMEWARD   BOUND.  231 


CHAPTER  XVI. 

HOMEWARD  BOUND. 

ON  the  21st  of  October  a  perfect  hurricane  swept 
over  our  camp.  The  air  was  dark  with  cinders  and 
smoke  from  the  burning  prairies.  Trees  were  torn 
up  by  the  roots,  and  the  tents  blown  down  over  our 
heads.  Through  this  storm  Lieutenant  Colonel  Mar 
shall  and  two  hundred  men,  who  had  been  on  an  ex 
pedition  into  Dakota  Territory,  arrived  with  a  crowd 
of  prisoners,  whom  he  had  captured  upon  Wild-Goose- 
Nest  Lake.  We  were  only  waiting  his  arrival  to 
break  up  our  camp,*  and  on  the  23d  the  tents  were 
struck,  and,  with  the  Indian  prisoners  in  wagons,  we 
commenced  our  homeward  march.  At  Yellow  Medi 
cine  we  took  in  the  other  prisoners.  The  march  this 
day  was  terrible,  and  rapidly  extracted  the  joke  of 
soldier  life.  Old  ^Eolus  seemed  to  be  re-enacting  the 
same  lively  little  operation  which  Yirgil  describes  him 
doing  at  the  instigation  of  the  cruel  Juno,  except  that 
he  now  mingled  the  land  instead  of  the  sea  with  the 
sky.  The  dust  drove  in  darkening  clouds  across  the 
prairie,  filling  the  eyes,  ears,  noses,  and  faces  of  our 
poor  soldiers,  and  giving  them  the  appearance  of  hav 
ing  been  suddenly  resurrected  from  dirty  graves ;  and 
the  cold  was  so  intense  that  they  shivered  as  if  in  fear 
that  Death  was  hurrying  fast  behind,  to  re-consign 

*  Before  we  left,  Colonel  Sibley  received  news  of  his  appointment 
to  the  position  of  brigadier  general. 


232  THE  SIOUX  WAR  AND   MASSACRE. 

them  to  the  abodes  which  they  had  prematurely  left. 
Horses  would  turn  from  the  road,  back  up  against  the 
wind,  and  neither  whip  nor  spur  could  urge  them  for 
ward  ;  and  so  we  left  them,  soon  to  fall  upon  the  prai 
ries,  and  remain  melancholy  memorials  of  our  army's 
returning  march.  But  the  next  day  the  sun  shone 
brightly ;  the  clear  autumn  air  was  calmly  at  rest ; 
and  great  flocks  of  geese,  and  brant,  and  vari-colored 
ducks,  and  cranes,  with  their  clattering  cry,  wheeled 
over  our  heads  and  drew  the  soldiers'  fire.  That 
night  we  pitched  our  tents  in  the  valley  of  the  Eed- 
Wood. 

The  Indian  camp,  consisting  principally  of  women 
and  children,  had  been  previously  removed  to  this 
place  from  Yellow  Medicine.  "When  the  squaws 
caught  sight  of  our  train,  and  saw  their  fathers,  and 
uncles,  and  brothers  chained  in  the  wagons,  they  be 
gan  to  weep,  and  set  up  a  dismal  wail.  "See  our 
poor  friends,"  they  said;  "  they  are  prisoners,  and  hun 
gry  and  cold."  Antoine  Frenier,  the  interpreter,  told 
them  that  there  were  forty-five  white  men,  women, 
and  children  lying  unburied  on  the  other  side  of  the 
Minnesota,  who  had  been  cruelly  murdered  by  these 
same  men,  and  that  they  then  shed  no  tears,  and  that 
they  had  better  recollect  this  and  remain  quiet.  This 
effected  a  quietus. 

Two  or  three  days  before  our  arrival,  a  woman  was 
found,  with  her  two  little  daughters,  on  the  opposite 
side  of  the  river.  They  had  been  in  the  woods  over 
nine  weeks,  and  knew  nothing  of  what  had  transpired. 
When  discovered,  they  were  in  a  house  which  they 
had  entered  to  die.  The  whites  they  supposed  to  be 
Indians  when  they  first  entered,  and  they  covered  up 


HOMEWAED   BOUND.  235 

their  heads  to  receive  the  fatal  blow.  The  poor  crea 
tures  were  starved  to  mere  skeletons,  and  it  seemed  as 
if  the  convulsions  of  joy  which  they  experienced  at 
their  rescue  would  break  their  hearts.  Strong-mind 
ed  men,  as  they  gazed  at  their  emaciated,  sorrow- 
stricken  faces,  bowed  their  heads  and  shed  tears  like 
girls.  When  the  mother  fled  from  the  massacre  she 
had  another  child,  an  infant,  which  she  carried  in  her 
arms.  The  other  children  "  walked  and  ran  painfully 
along  by  her  side  through  the  tangled  brush  and  brier 
vines.  They  lived  on  wild  plums  and  berries,  and 
when  those  were  gone  by  the  frost,  on  grape  tendrils 
and  roots.  At  night  they  cowered  like  a  brood  of 
partridges,  trembling,  starving,  nearly  dead.  The  in 
fant  was  taken  home  to  heaven.  The  mother  laid  its 
body  under  a  plum-tree,  scraped  together  a  heap  of 
dried  leaves  and  covered  it,  placed  a  few  sticks  over 
them  to  prevent  the  rude  winds  from  blowing  them 
away,  then,  looking  hastily  around,  again  fled  with  the 


survivors." 


Several  weeks  were  spent  at  the  Lower  Agency, 
the  trials  still  progressing.  Here  was  the  most  com 
fortable  camping-ground  that  had  fallen  to  our  lot 
during  the  campaign.  We  were  located  on  a  high 
plain,  and  wood  and  water  were  within  easy  access. 
The  ferry  was  put  in  running  order,  and  thereby  was 
furnished  an  easy  transit  for  foraging  parties  and 
those  desirous  of  going  to  Fort  Eidgely.  The  build 
ings  left  by  the  savages  were  occupied  for  hospital 
and  other  purposes.  Stoves  in  abundance  were  ob 
tained,  and  protruded  their  blackened  pipes  from  the 
tent-tops.  For  those  who  desired  fireplaces,  conven 
ient  bricks  were  at  hand  for  their  construction.  Col- 


236  THE   SIOUX  WAK  AND   MASSACEE. 

onel  Crooks  had  one  of  these  in  his  tent,  and  the  blaz 
ing  brands  reminded  one  of  home,  and  suggested  gay, 
hilarious  times.  Men  will  make  themselves  comfort 
able  in  camp.  If  logs  are  not  to  be  found,  they  will 
build  houses  from  sods  and  dig  holes  in  the  ground, 
as  some  of  our  men  did  at  Camp  Kelease.  We  still 
continued  to  find  victims  of  the  massacre.  On  the 
29th  a  foraging  party  crossed  the  river,  and  eleven 
miles  above  discovered  the  remains  of  twelve  persons. 
In  one  house  a  skull  lay  upon  the  bed,  and  in  the 
same  room  lay  a  dead  hog,  who  had  probably  been 
feeding  on  the  dead.  Close  to  the  house  the  party 
were  saluted  by  two  howling,  half-starved  dogs.  The 
next  day  they  went  out  again,  and,  a  short  distance 
above  the  same  place,  found  the  bones  of  thirteen 
more  bodies.  One  skeleton  was  evidently  that  of  a 
strong,  powerful  man ;  the  skull  was  fractured  into 
bits.  Cattle  were  running  around  almost  as  wild  as 
buffaloes.  An  ox  was  writhing  on  the  ground  in  ag 
ony,  and  frothing  at  the  mouth,  apparently  with  hy 
drophobia.  Many  of  the  dogs  there  are  said  to  have 
gone  mad.  Desolation  reigned  supreme.  A  flag  of 
truce  would  not  have  saved  the  murderers  had  they 
made  their  appearance  on  that  scene  of  inhuman 
butchery.  Many  other  bones  were  found  in  that 
neighborhood,  and  among  them  those  of  the  persons 
which  Antoine  Frenier  saw  on  his  way  to  Yellow 
Medicine.  The  house  where  the  little  children  were 
had  been  burned,  and  the  charred  remains  were  in 
the  ruins.  Henceforth,  for  many  a  year  on  our  bor 
ders,  Indian  hunters  will  be  found  who  will  emulate 
those  of  whom  the  early  history  of  our  country  tells, 
bent  on  war  to  the  death  with  the  savage  foe.  Men 


OF  THE 

UNIVERSITY 


THE  OOUBT-HOUSE  OF  THE  MILITABY  COMMISSION. 


HOMEWARD   BOUND.  239 

whose  wives  and  children  have  been  brutally  mur 
dered,  and  hearthstones  blasted  forever,  will  never 
rest  till  blood  has  answered  for  blood.  God's  fierce 
avengers  in  the  future !  success  to  their  unerring  ri 
fles. 

Soon  after  our  arrival  the  Indians  were  brought 
down  from  the  Bed -Wood  Eiver,  and  their  camp 
placed  near  ours,  around  the  walls  of  the  church  which 
charitable  and  pious  hands  had  reared  for  their  bene 
fit.  The  male  prisoners  were  confined  in  the  jail 
which  had  recently  been  constructed,  and  the  trials 
were  conducted  in  a  log  building  heretofore  occupied 
by  the  murdered  mixed-blood,  La  Batte,  for  unroman- 
tic  kitchen  purposes,  but  now  destined  to  pass  into 
history  and  be  immortalized.  The  avenging  Nemesis 
had  brought  the  guilty  to  an  appropriate  spot,  and 
that  on  eagle  wings,  for  here  it  was  that  the  mad  sat 
urnalia  first  began.  The  fire  had  scarcely  died  out  in 
the  ruins  of  the  goodly  buildings  which  they  destroy 
ed,  or  the  blood  of  their  murdered,  mangled  victims 
sunk  in  the  ground.  A  few  hours  after  our  arrival 
the  charred  bones  of  a  victim  were  taken  from  the 
ruins  of  one  of  the  houses,  and  the  unburied  remains 
of  one  of  Marsh's  men  found  near  the  ferry.  Almost 
within  stone's  throw  was  the  battle-ground  of  Birch 
Coolie.  The  dirt  on  the  graves  of  the  slain  was  yet 
fresh.  You  could  see,  as  if  it  was  done  but  yester 
day,  behind  every  little  bush  and  hillock  the  marks 
where  the  savages  had  lain  when  they  fired  upon  the 
camp,  and  the  trails  which  they  made  over  the  grass 
in  crawling  toward  it.  The  splinters  made  by  the 
bullets  were  still  hanging  upon  the  trees,  and  the  dead 
horses  massed  around  and  through  the  intrenchments, 


240  THE   SIOUX  WAR   AND  MASSACRE. 

though  much  wasted,  were  easily  distinguishable  from 
one  another.  All  that  was  needed  to  complete  the 
deep  tragedy  of  the  spot  was  the  erection  of  a  mighty 
gallows — one  partaking  of  the  gigantesque — and  the 
culprits  launched  together  from  it  into  eternity,  there 
to  hang  until  the  elements  should  scatter  their  dust  to 
the  winds. 

The  only  enemy  that  threatened  us  here  was  the  prai 
rie  fire.  Lighting  up  the  heavens  with  lurid  flames, 
roaring  through  the  tall,  dry  grass,  it  came  down  upon 
us  like  "  an  army  with  banners"  with  the  rush  of  the 
storm.  The  whole  force  turned  out  to  "  fight  fire  with 
fire,"  but  a  lucky  wind  changed  it  to  another  direction. 

On  the  7th  of  November,  Colonel  Marshall,  with  the 
inmates  of  the  Indian  camp,  about  1500  in  all,  consist 
ing  of  women  and  children,  and  a  few  innocent  males, 
started  for  Fort  Snelling.  When  the  outrage  broke 
out  the  Indians  said  that  they  would  winter  their 
squaws  near  St.  Paul.  The  prediction  was  to  be  ac 
complished,  but  the  fact  was  not  to  be  as  agreeable  as 
supposed. 

At  six  o'clock  our  drums  were  beating  for  forward 
march.  The  general  was  one  of  the  earliest  of  risers. 
He  had  all  the  camp  aroused  and  at  breakfast  before 
four.  It  was  a  disagreeable  morning ;  "  the  owl 
through  all  his  feathers  was  a-cold,"  and  so  were  bold 
"  sojer"  boys.  We  soon  cantered  away,  and  left  the 
aforesaid  quondam  kitchen,  but  henceforth  immortal 
ized  court-house,  in  which  three  of  us  had  slumbered 
cozily  for  many  a  pleasant  night  (and  which  the  gen 
eral  therefore  playfully  characterized  as  a  "  den"), 
probably  forever.  When  the  command  passed  New 
Ulm  the  inhabitants  were  engaged  in  disinterring  the 


SfTY   1 
/ 

ORN^^ 


HOMEWAED  BOUND.  243 

dead  from  the  street  for  more  appropriate  burial. 
Hearing  that  we  were  passing  by,  they  all  rushed 
forth,  men,  women,  and  children,  armed  with  clubs, 
pitchforks,  hoes,  brickbats,  knives,  and  guns,  and  at 
tacked  the  prisoners.  The  women  were  perfectly  fu 
rious  ;  they  danced  around  with  their  aprons  full  of 
stones,  and  cried  for  an  opportunity  to  get  at  the  pris 
oners,  upon  whom  they  poured  the  most  violent  abuse. 
Many  rushed  forward  and  discharged  a  shower  of 
stones.  One  woman,  who  had  a  long  knife  in  her 
hand,  was  especially  violent  in  her  demonstrations, 
and  another  pounded  an  Indian  in  the  face  till  she 
broke  his  jaw,  and  he  fell  backward  out  of  the  wagon. 
They  were  the  brutal  murderers  of  their  friends.  The 
prisoners  cowered  low,  and  the  negro  Godfrey,  who 
lived  in  the  neighborhood  of  this  theatre  of  his  ex 
ploits,  and  was  well  known  in  New  Ulm,  took  good 
care  to  cover  his  head  with  his  blanket,  and  crouch 
close  down  in  his  wagon.  The  expedition  soon  reach 
ed  Mankato,  near  which  a  permanent  camp  for  the 
winter  was  established,  called  "  Camp  Lincoln."  Here 
the  trial  of  a  number  of  the  Winnebagoes  was  held. 

As  no  other  murders  were  committed  until  the  fol 
lowing  spring,  this  is  an  appropriate  place  to  state  the 
estimated  losses  in  1862. 

I  take  Mr.  Gralbraith's  figures. 

Citizens  massacred:  In  Renville  County,  including  Reservations, 
221  ;  in  Dakota  Territory,  including  Big  Stone  Lake,  32;  in  Brown 
County,  including  Lake  Shetek,  204 ;  in  the  other  frontier  counties, 
187 — 644.  Soldiers  killed  in  battle:  Lower  Sioux  Agency,  Captain 
Marsh's  command,  24 ;  Fort  Ridgely  and  New  Ulm,  29 ;  Birch  Coolie, 
23 ;  Fort  Abercrombie,  Acton,  Forest  City,  Hutchinson,  and  other 
places,  including  Wood  Lake,  17—93.  Total,  737. 

Mr.  Gralbraith   says,  "Here,  then,  we   have   seven 


244  THE   SIOUX  WAR  AND   MASSACRE. 

hundred  and  thirty-seven  persons  whom  I  am  certain 
ly  convinced  have  been  killed  by  the  Indians.  More 
there  may  be,  and  I  think  there  are,  yet  I  confine  my 
self  to  the  facts  I  have.  Are  they  not  enough  ?  Many 
of  this  number  were  full-grown  men,  and  boys  over 
twelve  years  of  age ;  the  rest  women  and  children — 
the  mother,  the  maiden,  the  little  boy  or  girl,  and  the 
innocent  infant.  Are  they  not  enough?" 

During  the  winter  of  1862  and  '63  Congress  made  an 
appropriation,  though  greatly  insufficient  in  amount, 
for  the  indemnification  of  the  losses  incurred  by  the 
settlers,  and  appointed  three  commissioners  to  audit 
the  claims,  who  commenced  their  sessions  in  the  state 
early  in  the  season. 

Justice  demands  complete  reparation.  The  feder 
al  government,  through  the  maladministration  of  the 
Indian  Department,  is  largely  responsible  for  the  ex 
citement  of  the  Indians  against  the  whites.  Besides, 
it  exercises  exclusive  jurisdiction  over  them,  and  is 
responsible  for  their  good  conduct.  Alas!  what  hu 
man  power  can  compensate  for  the  precious  lives  ex 
tinguished,  for  the  desolated  homes,  for  the  blasted 
virtue,  for  all  the  anguish,  and  sorrow,  and  heart-des 
olation  entailed.  In  the  month  of  September  alone, 
8231  persons,  who  had  been  living  in  comparative  af 
fluence,  were  dependent  on  the  support  which  the  state 
furnished.  Many  charitable  donations  were  received 
from  abroad.  Among  the  good  men  who  contributed 
to  the  support  of  the  sufferers  was  Mr.  Minturn,  of  New 
York  City.  The  names  of  the  donors  will  live  in  the 
memory  of  a  grateful  people. 

On  the  Reservation  the  property  destroyed  has  been 
estimated  by  the  agent  at  over  one  million  of  dollars. 


HOMEWARD  BOUND.  247 

The  direct  and  indirect  loss  to  the  remainder  of  the 
state  can  hardly  be  estimated.  Millions  will  not  cov 
er  it. 

If  the  stories  told  by  the  whites  of  the  number  of 
Indians  killed  in  different  encounters  during  the  sea 
son  were  correct,  their  loss  would  be  several  hundred. 
But  the  number  was  grossly  exaggerated.  An  Indian 
with  his  head  bound  with  grass,  and  hugging  the  prai 
rie,  and  availing  himself,  with  practiced  eye,  of  every 
inequality  in  its  surface  for  protection,  and  shifting 
his  position  every  time  he  discharges  his  gun,  is  a  very 
difficult  mark  for  an  experienced  shot,  let  alone  for 
those  who  were  not  accustomed  to  the  use  of  arms. 

In  order  to  get,  if  possible,  other  information  upon 
the  subject,  at  Fort  Snelling  I  gathered  the  Indians 
of  different  bands  together,  and  asked  them  to  enu 
merate  their  losses.  They  did  so  willingly,  and  the 
manner  in  which  they  did  it  convinced  me  of  their 
sincerity.  They  went  over  the  bands  one  by  one, 
and  gave  the  names  of  the  slain,  each  refreshing  the 
recollections  of  the  others.  An  Indian  ascertains  and 
remembers  such  things  much  better  than  a  white  man, 
because  there  are  comparatively  few  things  to  occupy 
his  mind,  and  prominent  among  these  is  what  pertains 
to  battles.  They  do  not  confine  themselves  to  one 
place,  but  are  continually  wandering  around  and  asso 
ciating  with  one  another,  and  can  tell  the  locality  of 
every  band.  Their  knowledge  of  distances,  and  of 
what  Indians  went  upon  different  war  paths,  and  their 
numbers,  and  what  they  did,  I  found  to  be  astonish 
ingly  correct. 

The  conversation  and  details  of  the  affair  at  Acton 
was  narrated  to  me  by  an  Indian,  who  told  me  he  had 


248  THE   SIOUX  WAR  AND   MASSACRE. 

heard  it  many  times.  It  was  from  one  of  them,  too, 
that  I  obtained  the  speeches  which  were  made. 

Their  estimate  of  the  killed  upon  the  field  corre 
sponded  with  the  number  found  by  us  at  the  different 
places  of  contest.  I  have  heard  some  say  that  there 
were  more  found  at  New  Ulm,  Kidgely,  and  Aber- 
crombie,  but  I  looked  in  vain  for  a  man  who  could 
tell  me  he  had  seen  them.  I  was  at  Eidgely  myself 
shortly  after  the  battles,  and  was  told  that  more  than 
here  stated  had  been  discovered,  but  I  could  not  find 
them  after  a  diligent  search. 

Here  are  the  figures  as  given  by  the  Indians. 
They  include  those  who  were  carried  away  wounded 
from  the  battle-field,  and  afterward  died. 

Admitted  loss  of  the  enemy  in  1862:  At  the  battle  of  Red- Wood 
Ferry,  1 ;  at  New  Ulm  (including  half-breeds),  5 ;  at  Fort  Ridgely, 
2 ;  at  Birch  Coolie,  2 ;  Big  Woods,  at  or  near  Forest  City,  1 ;  at 
battle  of  Acton  with  Strout,  1;  at  Hutchinson,  1 ;  at  Spirit  Lake,  1; 
at  Lake  Shetek,  by  Duly,  1 ;  near  Omahaw,  where  several  went  to 
steal  horses,  not  knowing  of  the  outbreak,  1 ;  at  Abercrombie,  4 ;  be 
tween  Fort  Ridgely  and  New  Ulm,  half-breed,  1  ;  at  Wood  Lake,  22. 
Total,  42. 


L2 


OF 


TRIALS  OF   THE  PRISONERS.  251 


CHAPTER  XVII. 

TRIALS   OF  THE   PRISONERS. 

THE  Military  Commission,  which,  organized,  as 
stated  in  the  order  creating  it,  "  to  try  summarily  the 
mulatto,  mixed  bloods,  and  Indians  engaged  in  the 
Sioux  raids  and  massacres,"  consisted  at  first  of  Col 
onel  Crooks,  Lieutenant  Colonel  Marshall,  Captains 
Grant  and  Bailey,  and  Lieutenant  Olin.  The  writer 
acted  as  recorder. 

After  twenty -nine  cases  were  disposed  of,  Major 
Bradley  was  substituted  for  Lieutenant  Colonel  Mar 
shall,  who  was  absent  on  other  duty. 

The  prisoners  were  arraigned  upon  written  charges 
specifying  the  criminating  acts.  These  charges  were 
signed  by  Colonel  Sibley  or  his  adjutant  general, 
and  were,  with  but  few  exceptions,  based  upon  infor 
mation  furnished  by  the  Eev.  S.  E.  Riggs.  He  ob 
tained  it  by  assembling  the  half-breeds,  and  others 
possessed  of  means  of  knowledge,  in  a  tent,  and  inter 
rogating  them  concerning  suspected  parties.  The 
names  of  the  witnesses  were  appended  to  the  charge. 
He  was,  in  effect,  the  Grand  Jury  of  the  court.  His 
long  residence  in  the  country,  and  extensive  acquaint 
ance  with  the  Indians,  his  knowledge  of  the  char 
acter  and  habits  of  most  of  them,  enabling  him  to  tell 
almost  with  certainty  what  Indians  would  be  impli 
cated  and  what  ones  not,  either  from  their  disposi 
tion  or  their  relatives  being  engaged,  and  his  famili 
arity  with  their  language,  eminently  qualified  him  for 
the  position. 


252  THE   SIOUX  WAK  AND-  MASSACRE. 

Major  Forbes,  of  General  Sibley's  staff,  a  trader  of 
long  standing  among  the  Indians,  acted  as  provost 
marshal,  and  Antoine  Frenier  as  interpreter.  The 
charges  were  first  read  to  the  accused,  and,  unless  he 
admitted  them,  evidence  on  oath  introduced. 

Godfrey  was  the  first  person  tried.  The  following 
was  the  charge  and  specifications,  which  will  serve  as 
a  sample  of  the  others : 

"  Charge  and  Specifications  against  0-ta-Jcle,  or  Godfrey, 
a  colored  man  connected  with  the  Sioux  tribe  of  In 
dians. 

"  Charge.     MURDER. 

"  Specification  1st.  In  this,  that  the  said  O-ta-kle,  or 
Godfrey,  a  colored  man,  did,  at  or  near  New  Ulm, 
Minnesota,  on  or  about  the  19th  day  of  August,  1862, 
join  in  a  war  party  of  the  Sioux  tribe  of  Indians 
against  the  citizens  of  the  United  States,  and  did  with 
his  own  hand  murder  seven  white  men,  women,  and 
children  (more  or  less),  peaceable  citizens  of  the 
United  States. 

"  Specification  2d.  In  this,  that  the  said  O-ta-kle,  or 
Godfrey,  a  colored  man,  did,  at  various  times  and 
places  between  the  19th  of  August,  1862,  and  the  28th 
day  of  September,  1862,  join  and  participate  in  the 
murders  and  massacre  committed  by  the  Sioux  In 
dians  on  the  Minnesota  frontier.     By  order  of 
"  COL.  H.  H.  SIBLEY,  Com.  Mil.  Expedition. 
"  S.  H.  FOWLER,*  Lt.  Col.  State  Militia,  A.  A.  A.  G. 
"  Witnesses:  Mary  Woodbury, David  Faribault,  Sen., 
Mary  Swan,  Bernard  la  Batte." 

*  Colonel  Fowler  was  formerly  in  the  regular  army,  and  rendered 
General  Sibley  efficient  aid  in  the  organization  of  the  expedition. 


TRIALS  OF  THE   PRISONERS.  253 

On  being  asked  whether  he  was  guilty  or  not  guilty, 
he  made  a  statement  similar  to  the  one  heretofore  de 
tailed. 

Mary  Woodbury  testified  that  she  saw  him  two  or 
three  days  after  the  outbreak  at  Little  Crow's  village 
with  a  breech-clout  on,  and  his  legs  and  face  painted 
for  a  war  party,  and  that  he  started  with  one  for  New 
Ulm;  that  he  appeared  very  happy  and  contented 
with  the  Indians;  was  whooping  around' and  yelling, 
and  apparently  as  fierce  as  any  of  them.  When  they 
came  back  there  was  a  Wahpeton,  named  Hunka,  who 
told  witness  that  the  negro  was  the  bravest  of  all ; 
that  he  led  them  into  a  house  and  dubbed  the  inmates 
with  a  hatchet ;  and  that  she  was  standing  in  the  pris 
oner's  tent  door,  and  heard  the  Indians  ask  him  how 
many  he  had  killed,  and  he  said  only  seven ;  and  that 
she  saw  him,  once  when  he  started  off,  have  a  gun,  a 
knife,  and  a  hatchet. 

Mary  Swan  and  Mattie  Williams  testified  that 
when  the  war  party  took  them  captive,  though  the  pris 
oner  was  not  armed,  he  appeared  to  be  as  much  in 
favor  of  the  outrages  as  any  of  the  Indians,  and  made 
no  intimation  to  the  contrary  in  a  conversation  the 
witnesses  had  with  him. 

La  Batte  knew  nothing  about  him. 

David  Faribault,  Sen.,  a  half-breed,  testified  as  to 
his  boasting  of  killing  seven  with  a  tomahawk,  and 
some  more — children;  but  these,  he  said,  didn't  amount 
to  any  thing,  and  he  wouldn't  count  them.  Witness 
saw  him  at  the  fort  and  at  New  Ulm,  fighting  and 
acting  like  the  Indians ;  and  he  never  told  him  (Fari 
bault)  that  he  was  forced  into  the  outbreak. 

Godfrey,  it  will  be  recollected,  stated,  before  wit- 


254  THE   SIOUX  WAR  AND   MASSACRE. 

nesses  were  called,  that  lie  was  at  the  fort,  New  Ulm, 
Birch  Coolie,  and  Wood  Lake,  but  was  compelled  to 
go ;  and  that  he  had  struck  a  man  with  the  back  of  a 
hatchet  in  a  house  where  a  number  were  killed,  and 
that  he  spoke  of  killing  in  the  Indian  acceptation  of 
the  term,  as  before  explained,  and  boasted  of  the  act 
in  order  to  keep  the  good  will  of  the  Indians. 

He  had  such  an  honest  look,  and  spoke  with  such 
a  truthful  tone,  that  the  court,  though  prejudiced 
against  him  in  the  beginning,  were  now  unanimously 
inclined  to  believe  that  there  were  possibilities  as  to 
his  sincerity.  His  language  was  broken,  and  he  com 
municated  his  ideas  with  some  little  difficulty.  This 
was  an  advantage  in  his  favor,  for  it  interested  the 
sympathetic  attention  of  the  listener,  and  it  was  a 
pleasure  to  listen  to  his  hesitating  speech.  His  voice 
was  one  of  the  softest  that  I  ever  listened  to. 

The  court  held  his  case  open  for  a  long  time,  and, 
while  the  other  trials  were  progressing,  asked  every 
person  who  was  brought  in  about  him,  but  could  find 
no  person  who  saw  him  kill  any  one,  although  the 
Indians  were  indignant  at  him  for  having  disclosed 
evidence  against  a  number  of  them,  and  would  be 
desirous  of  finding  such  testimony. 

Finally,  the  court  found  him  not  guilty  of  the  first 
specification,  but  guilty  of  the  charge  arid  the  second 
specification,  and  sentenced  him  to  be  hung,  accom 
panying  the  sentence,  however,  by  a  recommendation 
of  a  commutation  of  punishment  to  imprisonment  for 
ten  years.  It  was  afterward  granted  by  the  President. 

The  trials  were  elaborately  conducted  until  the 
commission  became  acquainted  with  the  details  of  the 
different  outrages  and  battles,  and  then,  the  only  point 


TEIALS  OF  THE   PRISONERS.  255 

being  the  connection  of  the  prisoner  with  them,  five 
minutes  would  dispose  of  a  case. 

If  witnesses  testified,  or  the  prisoner  admitted,  that 
he  was  a  participant,  sufficient  was  established.  As 
many  as  forty  were  sometimes  tried  in  a  day.  Those 
convicted  of  plundering  were  condemned  to  imprison 
ment;  those  engaged  in  individual  massacres  and  in 
battles,  to  death. 

If  you  think  that  participation  in  battles  did  not  jus 
tify  such  a  sentence,  please  to  reflect  that  any  judicial 
tribunal  in  the  state  would  have  been  compelled  to 
pass  it,  and  that  the  retaliatory  laws  of  war,  as  recog 
nized  by  all  civilized  nations,  and  also  the  code  of  the 
Indian,  which  takes  life  for  life,  justified  it.  The  bat 
tles  were  not  ordinary  battles.  The  attacks  upon  New 
Ulm  were  directed  against  a  village  filled  with  fright 
ened  fugitives  from  the  surrounding  neighborhood, 
and  the  place  was  defended  by  civilians,  hastily  and 
indifferently  armed,  and  were  accompanied  by  the 
wanton  burning  of  a  large  portion  of  the  town,  and 
by  the  slaughter  of  horses  and  cattle,  and  the  destruc 
tion  of  all  property  which  came  within  the  power  of 
the  enemy.  A  number  of  persons  from  the  country, 
who  endeavored,  while  the  attack  was  progressing,  to 
make  their  way  into  the  town,  where  alone  was  possi 
ble  safety,  were  shot  down  and  horribly  mutilated. 
The  attacks  upon  the  forts  were  also  accompanied  by 
similar  acts. 

The  battle  of  Birch  Coolie  commenced  with  an  at 
tack,  just  before  daylight,  upon  a  small  party  of  sol 
diers  and  civilians  who  had  been  engaged  in  the  bur 
ial  of  the  dead  at  the  Bed- Wood  Agency,  by  over 
three  hundred  Indians,  who  started  for  the  purpose  of 


256  THE   SIOUX  WAR  AND   MASSACRE. 

burning  the  towns  of  New  Ulm,  Mankato,  and  St.  Pe 
ter,  and  butchering  the  inhabitants.  The  war  party 
to  the  Big  Woods  marched  a  distance  of  eighty  miles 
on  a  general  raid  through  the  settlements.  They 
murdered  and  mutilated  a  number  of  unarmed  fugi 
tives,  burned  many  houses,  stole  a  large  quantity  of 
horses  and  cattle,  killed  a  portion  of  Captain  Strout's 
company  at  Acton,  and  partially  destroyed  the  town 
of  Hutchinson.  On  all  these  occasions,  as  they  were 
attacked  by  largely  superior  numbers,  the  whites 
would  have  surrendered  could  "  quarter"  have  been 
expected.  It  was  with  the  utmost  resistance  of  de 
spair  that  the  defense  of  Fort  Eigdely  and  New  Ulm 
was  sustained  after  the  burning  of  all  the  outbuild 
ings,  and  an  attempt  to  set  fire  to  the  fort  itself.  The 
timely  arrival  of  re-enforcements  alone  saved  the  par 
ty  at  Birch  Coolie  from  total  massacre.  One  hund 
red  and  four  bullet-holes  through  a  single  tent,  the 
slaughter  of  over  ninety  horses,  and  the  loss  of  half 
the  party  in  killed  and  wounded,  indicate  the  peril  of 
their  situation.  The  purpose  of  these  Indians,  as  fre 
quently  stated,  was  to  sweep  the  country  as  far  as  St. 
Paul  with  the  tomahawk  and  with  fire,  giving  the 
men  "  no  quarter ;"  and  these  battles  were  but  a  part 
of  the  general  design,  and  rendered  the  acts  of  one 
the  acts  of  all.  The  fact  that  those  engaged  in  such 
a  mode  of  warfare  acted  together  in  organized  bands, 
and  directed  their  attempts  against  a  large  number  of 
whites,  was  not  a  matter  of  mitigation,  but  of  aggrava 
tion,  arising  from  increased  ability  and  opportunity  to 
accomplish  their  purpose. 

Besides,  most  of  these  Indians  must  also  have  been 
engaged  in  individual  massacres  and  outrages.    Those 


TRIALS   OF  THE   PRISONERS.  257 

who  attacked  New  Ulm  on  the  second  day  after  the 
outbreak,  and  Fort  Bidgely  on  the  third  day,  were 
undoubtedly  parties  who  had  scattered  through  the 
neighborhood  in  small  marauding  bands  the  day  be 
fore.  The  extent  of  the  outrages,  occurring  almost 
simultaneously  over  a  frontier  of  two  hundred  miles 
in  length  and  reaching  far  into  the  interior,  and 
whereby  nearly  one  thousand  people  perished,  can 
not  be  accounted  for  without  their  participation.  The 
fact  that  they  were  Indians,  intensely  hating  the  whites, 
and  possessed  of  the  inclinations  and  revengeful  im 
pulses  of  Indians,  and  educated  to  the  propriety  of 
the  indiscriminate  butchery  of  their  opponents,  would 
raise  the  moral  certainty  that,  as  soon  as  the  first  mur 
ders  were  committed,  all  the  young  men  were  impel 
led  by  the  sight  of  blood  and  plunder — by  the  conta 
gion  of  example,  and  the  hopes  entertained  of  success 
— to  become  participants  in  the  same  class  of  acts. 

In  at  least  two  thirds  of  the  cases  the  prisoners  ad 
mitted  that  they  fired,  but  in  most  instances  insisted 
that  it  was  only  two  or  three  shots,  and  that  no  one 
was  killed ;  about  as  valid  an  excuse  as  one  of  them 
offered  who  was  possessed  of  an  irresistible  impulse 
to  accumulate  property,  that  a  horse  which  he  took 
was  only  a  very  little  one,  and  that  a  pair  of  oxen 
which  he  captured  was  for  his  wife,  who  wanted  a 
pair.  In  regard  to  the  third  who  did  not  admit  that 
they  fired,  their  reasons  for  not  doing  so  were  remark 
able,  and  assumed  a  different  shape  every  day.  One 
day  all  the  elderly  men,  who  were  in  the  vigor  of 
manly  strength,  said  their  hair  was  too  gray  to  go  into 
battle ;  and  the  young  men,  aged  from  eighteen  to 
twenty-five,  insisted  that  they  were  too  young,  and 


258  THE  SIOUX  WAR  AND   MASSACRE. 

their  hearts  too  weak  to  face  fire.  The  next  day 
would  develop  the  fact  that  great  was  the  number 
and  terrible  the  condition  of  those  who  were  writhing 
in  agony  with  the  bellyache  on  the  top  of  a  big  hill. 
A  small  army  avowed  that  they  had  crept  under  a 
wonderfully  capacious  stone  (which  nobody  but  them 
selves  ever  saw)  at  the  battles  of  the  fort,  and  did  not 
emerge  therefrom  during  the  fights ;  and  a  sufficiency 
for  two  small  armies  stoutly  called  on  the  Great  Spirit 
(Wakan-tonka),  and  the  heavens  and  the  earth  (pat 
ting  the  latter  emphatically  with  the  hand),  to  witness 
that  they  were  of  a  temper  so  phlegmatic,  a  disposition 
so  unsocial,  and  an  appetite  so  voracious  and  greedy, 
that,  during  the  roar  of  each  of  the  battles  at  the  fort, 
New  Ulm,  Birch  Coolie,  and  Wood  Lake,  they  were 
alone,  within  bullet-shot,  roasting  and  eating  corn  and 
beef  all  day!  A  fiery -looking  warrior  wished  the 
commission  to  believe  that  he  felt  so  bad  at  the  fort 
to  see  the  Indians  fire  on  the  whites,  that  he  immedi 
ately  laid  down  there  and  went  to  sleep,  and  did  not 
awake  until  the  battle  was  over !  Several  of  the  worst 
characters,  who  had  been  in  all  the  battles,  after  they 
had  confessed  the  whole  thing,  wound  up  by  saying 
that  they  were  members  of  the  Church ! 

One  young  chap,  aged  about  nineteen,  said  that  he 
used  always  to  attend  divine  worship  at  Little  Crow's 
village,  below  St.  Paul,  and  that  he  never  did  any 
thing  bad  in  his  life  except  to  run  after  a  chicken  at 
Mendota  a  long  time  ago,  and  that  he  didn't  catch  it. 
The  evidence  disclosed  the  fact  that  this  pious  youth 
had  been  an  active  participant  in  some  of  the  worst 
massacres  on  Beaver  Creek. 

All  ages  were  represented,  from  boyish  fifteen  up 


TEIALS   OF  THE'  PRISONERS.  259 

to  old  men  scarcely  able  to  walk  or  speak,  who  were 
"  fifty  years  old,"  to  use  the  expression  of  one,  "  a  long 
time  ago,  and  then  they  stopped  counting."  Two  of 
these  old  gentlemen  were  once  brought  in  together, 
who  were  .direct  opposites  in  physiognomy — the  face 
of  one  running  all  to  nose,  which  terminated  sharply, 
giving  him  the  pointed  expression,* while  that  of  the 
other  was  perfectly  flat,  and  about  two  feet  broad,  and 
fully  illustrated  (what  I  always  considered  a  fable)  the 
fact  of  persons  being  in  existence  who  couldn't  open 
or  shut  their  eyes  and  mouths  at  the  same  moment. 
This  specimen  was  apparently  asleep  the  whole  time, 
with  his  lower  jaw  down ;  and  closed  eyes  being  his 
normal  condition,  he  had  to  be  punched  up  every  two 
minutes,  when  the  president  of  the  commission  was 
interrogating  him,  as  he  wished  to  look  in  his  eyes  to 
judge  if  he  was  telling  the  truth. 

"  Wake  him  up  !  stir  him  up  /"  was  the  continual  in 
junction  to  the  interpreter.  This  lively  little  proceed 
ing  kept  the  old  gentleman's  face  in  continued  action, 
eyes  and  mouth  alternately  opening  and  shutting  with 
a  jerk.  If  he  was  simply  told  to  open  his  eyes,  the 
operation  was  slow.  The  lids  peeled  up  like  those  of 
some  stupid  noxious  bird  gorged  with  carrion,  and 
would  shut  again  before  they  were  fairly  open,  the 
mouth  following  suit pari passu.  Nothing  was  proved 
against  him,  and  the  president  said,  in  a  loud  voice, 
"Lead  him  out."  The  startled  tones  awakened  him, 
but  the  eyes  shut  again,  and  they  led  him  away  wrap 
ped  in  profound  slumber. 

Another  equally  antiquated  specimen,  but  by  no 
means  terrific  in  appearance,  and  not  of  the  smallest 
account  to  himself  or  any  body  else — sore-eyed,  and 


260  THE  SIOUX  WAR  AND  MASSACRE. 

of  lymphatic  temperament — astonished  the  court  by 
stating  that  he  was  the  sole  cause  of  the  Sioux  diffi 
culty  ;  that  he  was  living  near  New  Ulm  upon  the 
charity  of  the  whites ;  that  the  whites  were,  in  fact, 
lavishingly  kind  to  him,  and  to  such  an  extent  that 
the  other  Indians  were  jealous  of  him,  and  became  so 
excited  thereby  that  they  brought  on  the  war. 

Two  semi-idiots  were  tried.  Nothing  was  elicited 
concerning  one  of  them  except  that  he  was  called 
"  white  man,"  and  was  picked  up  when  an  infant 
alone  on  the  prairies.  He  claimed  to  be  a  white,  but 
looked  like  a  "  Eed,  and  a  very  cross-eyed,  ugly-phized 
"Bed"  at  that.  The  other  had  wit  enough  to  kill  a 
white  child,  and,  unfortunately  for  him,  the  plea  of 
idiocy  was  not  recognized  by  the  commission. 

An  innocent-looking  youth  was  tried  on  a  charge 
of  robbery.  The  following  examination  took  place : 

Ques.  "What  goods,  if  any,  did  you  take  from 
Forbes's  store  ?" 

Ans.  "  Some  blankets." 

Q.  "Any  thing  else?" 

A.  "  Yes  ;  some  calico  and  cloth." 

Q.  "Any  thing  else?" 

A.  "Yes;  some  powder,  and  some  lead,  and  some 
paint,  and  some  beads." 

Q.  "Any  thing  else?" 

A.  "Yes;  some  flour,  and  some  pork,  and  some 
coffee,  and  some  rice,  and  some  sugar,  and  some  beans, 
and  some  tin  cups,  and  some  raisins,  and  some  twine, 
and  some  fish-hooks,  and  some  needles,  and  some 
thread." 

Q.  "  Was  you  going  to  set  up  a  grocery  store  on 
your  own  account  ?" 


TRIALS   OF   THE   PRISONERS.  261 

A.  A  stupid  and  inquiring  look  from  the  Indian, 
but  no  words. 

Ten  years  in  prison  was  given  him  to  meditate  on 
his  reply. 

Let  it  not  be  supposed,  because  facetiae  were  some 
times  indulged  in,  that  the  proceedings  were  lightly 
conducted.  The  trial  of  several  hundred  persons  for 
nearly  the  same  class  of  acts  became  very  monoto 
nous.  The  gravest  judge,  unless  entirely  destitute  of 
the  juices  of  humor,  sometimes  a  while 

"  Unbends  his  rugged  front, 
And  deigns  a  transient  smile." 

Many  cases  there  were  where  there  was  occasion 
enough  for  display  of  solemn  sorrow. 

The  most  repulsive-looking  prisoner  was  Cut-nose, 
some  of  whose  acts  have  been  detailed  by  Samuel 
Brown.  He  was  the  foremost  man  in  many  of  the 
massacres.  The  first  and  second  days  of  the  outbreak 
he  devoted  his  attention  particularly  to  the  Beaver 
Creek  settlement,  and  to  the  fugitives  on  that  side  of 
the  river.  I  will  give  a  single  additional  instance 
of  the  atrocity  of  this  wretch  and  his  companions. 
A  party  of  settlers  were  gathered  together  for  flight 
when  the  savages  approached;  the  defenseless,  helpless 
women  and  children,  huddled  together  in  the  wagons, 
bending  down  their  heads,  and  drawing  over  them  still 
closer  their  shawls.  Cut-nose,  while  two  others  held 
the  horses,  leaped  into  a  wagon  that  contained  eleven, 
mostly  children,  and  deliberately,  in  cold  blood,  tom 
ahawked  them  all — cleft  open  the  head  of  each,  while 
the  others,  stupefied  with  horror,  powerless  with  fright, 
as  they  heard  the  heavy,  dull  blows  crash  and  tear 
through  flesh  and  bones,  awaited  their  turn.  Taking 


262  THE   SIOUX  WAR  AND   MASSACRE. 

an  infant  from  its  mother's  arms,  before  her  eyes,  with 
a  bolt  from  one  of  the  wagons  they  riveted  it  through 
its  body  to  the  fence,  and  left  it  there  to  die,  writhing 
in  agony.  After  holding  for  a  while  the  mother  be 
fore  this  agonizing  spectacle,  they  chopped  off  her 
arms  and  legs,  and  left  her  to  bleed  to  death.  Thus 
they  butchered  twenty-five  within  a  quarter  of  an  acre. 
Kicking  the  bodies  out  of  the  wagons,  they  filled  them 
with  plunder  from  the  burning  houses,  and,  sending 
them  back,  pushed  on  for  other  adventures.* 

Many  of  those  engaged  in  the  Patville  murder  were 
tried.  Patville  started  from  Jo.  Reynolds's  place,  just 
above  Ked-Wood,  for  New  Ulm,  on  the  morning  of 
the  outbreak,  with  three  young  ladies  and  two  other 
men,  and  on  the  way  they  were  attacked  by  the  In 
dians,  as  detailed  by  Godfrey.  Patville  'was  killed 
near  the  wagon,  and  the  other  men  at  the  edge  of  the 
woods,  while  trying  to  escape.  One  of  the  girls  was 
wounded,  and  all  three  taken  prisoners  and  brought 
to  Ked-Wood.  Here  the  three  were  abused  by  the 
Indians ;  one,  a  girl  of  fourteen,  by  seventeen  of  the 
wretches,  and  the  wounded  young  lady  to  such  an  ex 
tent  that  she  died  that  night.  Jo.  Campbell  ventured 
to  place  her  in  a  grave,  but  was  told  that  if  he  did  so, 
or  for  any  of  the  other  bodies  which  were  lying  ex 
posed,  his  life  should  pay  the  forfeit.  The  two  other 
young  ladies  were  reclaimed  at  Camp  Eelease,  and 
sent  to  their  friends,  after  suffering  indignities  worse 
than  death,  and  which  humanity  shudders  to  name. 

Others  were  tried  who  belonged  to  a  band  of  eight 
that  separated  themselves  from  the  main  body  which 
attacked  the  fort  in  the  second  battle,  and  went  to- 

*  Harper's  Magazine. 


TRIALS   OF   THE   PRISONERS.  263 

ward  St.  Peter's,  burning  the  church,  the  Swan  Lake 
House,  and  other  buildings,  and  murdering  and  plun 
dering.  They  attacked  one  party,  and  killed  all  the 
men,  and  then  one  of  them  caught  hold  of  a  young 
girl  to  take  her  as  his  property,  when  the  mother  re 
sisted  and  endeavored  to  pull  her  away.  The  Indians 
then  shot  the  mother  dead,  and  wounded  the  girl,  who 
fell  upon  the  ground  apparently  lifeless.  An  Indian 
said  she  was  not  dead,  and  told  her  first  captor  to 
raise  her  clothes,  which  he  attempted  to  do.  Modes 
ty,  strong  in  death,  revived  the  girl,  and  she  attempt 
ed  to  prevent  it,  but  as  she  did  so  the  other  raised  his 
tomahawk  and  dashed  out  her  brains — a  blessed  fate 
in  comparison  with  that  which  was  otherwise  de 
signed. 

An  old  man,  shriveled  to  a  mummy,  one  of  the 
criers  of  the  Indian  camp,  was  also  tried,  and  two 
little  boys  testified  against  him. 

One  of  them,  a  German,  and  remarkably  intelligent 
for  his  years,  picked  him  out  from  many  others  at 
Camp  Kelease,  and  had  him  arrested,  and  dogged  him 
till  he  was  placed  in  jail,  and  when  he  was  led  forth 
to  be  tried,  with  the  eye  and  fierceness  of  a  hawk,  and 
as  if  he  feared  every  instant  that  he  would  escape 
justice. 

These  boys  belonged  to  a  large  party,  who  came 
from  above  Beaver  Creek  to  within  a  few  miles  of  the 
fort,  where  the  Indians  met  them,  and  said  if  they 
would  go  back  with  them  to  where  they  came  from, 
and  give  up  their  teams,  they  should  not  be  harmed. 
When  they  were  some  distance  from  the  fort,  they 
fired  into  the  party,  and  killed  one  man  and  a  num 
ber  of  women,  and  took  the  remainder  prisoners.  The 


264  THE   SIOUX   WAR   AND   MASSACRE. 

old  wretch  was  made  to  stand  up,  looking  cold  and 
impassable,  and  as  stolid  as  a  stone,  and  the  boys, 
likewise  standing,  placed  opposite.  They  stood  gaz 
ing  at  each  other  for  a  moment,  when  one  of  the  boys 
said,  "  I  saw  that  Indian  shoot  a  man  while  he  was  on 
his  knees  at  prayer;"  and  the  other  boy  said,  "I  saw 
him  shoot  my  mother." 

Another  was  recognized  by  Mrs.  Hunter  as  the  In 
dian  who  had  shot  her  husband,  and  then  took  out 
his  knife  and  offered  to  cut  his  throat  in  her  presence, 
but  finally  desisted,  and  carried  her  away  into  cap 
tivity. 

A  party  of  five  was  also  tried,  who  all  fired  and 
killed  a  white  man  across  the  river.  The  party  con 
sisted  of  three  half-breeds,  Henry  Milard,  Baptiste 
Campbell,  and  Hippolyte  Auge,  and  two  Indians. 

One  of  the  Indians  was  first  examined,  and,  as  he 
was  going  out  of  the  door,  said  hastily  that  there  was 
a  white  man  with  him,  and  gave  the  name  of  Milard. 
He  was  at  once  arrested,  and  brought  before  the  court 
the  next  day,  and  the  Indian  called  as  a  witness.  On 
being  interrogated  as  to  whether  he  knew  the  prisoner, 
he  turned  around,  and,  after  leisurely  scanning  him 
from  head  to  foot,  said  he  never  saw  him  before. 
Milard  had  previously  made  some  rather  damaging 
admissions,  and  being  asked  whether  he  desired  any 
witnesses,  mentioned  the  name  of  Campbell,  who  be 
ing  brought  in,  stolidly  told  the  whole  thing,  saying 
that  they  were  sent  over  the  river  by  Little  Crow 
after  cattle,  and  saw  the  white  man,  and  all  fired  at 
the  same  time,  and  the  man  fell,  and  that  he  was  sure 
the  Indian  shot  him,  as  he  had  gotten  where  he  could 
get  a  better  shot.  He  said,  with  the  utmost  sangfroid, 


TKIALS   OF  THE   PRISONERS.  265 

that  he  aimed  to  hit,  but  unfortunately  failed.  Auge 
had  gone  to  St.  Peter's,  but  was  arrested  and  con 
victed. 

Several  of  the  Renville  Rangers  were  also  arraign 
ed,  who  deserted  from  the  fort,  and  were  in  all  the 
battles.  One  of  these,  about  eighteen,  built  like  a 
young  Hercules,  stated  that  he  went  from  the  fort  to 
cut  kin-ne-kin-nic,  and  the  Indians,  surrounding  the 
fort  while  he  was  out,  prevented  his  getting  in,  and 
that  his  presence  in  the  battles  was  compulsory,  and 
stoutly  denied  having  been  guilty  of  any  wrong  act. 
The  evidence  showed  that  he  was  of  a  decidedly  bel 
ligerent  character,  having  been  engaged  in  war  par 
ties  against  the  Chippeways,  and  that  at  Wood  Lake 
he  had  scalped  the  first  man  killed,  one  of  the  Ren 
ville  Rangers,  an  old  gray -headed  German  (and  very 
likely  was  the  one  who  had  cut  his  head  and  hands 
off),  and  had  received  therefor  one  of  two  belts  of 
wampum  which  Little  Crow  had  promised  to  those 
who  should  kill  the  first  two  white  men.  He  called 
his  Indian  uncle  in  his  defense,  but  he,  much  to  his 
disgust,  admitted  that  he  had  received  the  wampum. 

The  female  sex  was  represented  in  the  person  of 
one  squaw,  who,  it  was  charged,  had  killed  two  chil 
dren.  The  only  evidence  to  be  obtained  against  her 
was  camp  rumor  to  that  effect  among  the  Indians,  so 
she  was  discharged.  Her  arrest  had  one  good  effect, 
as  she  admitted  she  had  taken  some  silver  spoons 
across  the  river,  and  ninety  dollars  in  gold,  which  she 
had  turned  over  to  an  Indian,  who,  being  questioned 
concerning  it,  admitted  the  fact,  and  delivered  the 
money  over  to  the  general. 

But  the  greatest  institution  of  the  commission,  and 
M 


266  THE  SIOUX  WAR  AND  MASSACKE. 

the  observed  of  all  observers,  was  the  negro  Godfrej^. 
He  was  the  means  of  bringing  to  justice  a  large  num 
ber  of  the  savages,  in  every  instance  but  two  his  testi 
mony  being  substantiated  by  the  subsequent  admis 
sion  of  the  Indians  themselves.  His  observation  and 
memory  were  remarkable.  Not  the  least  thing  had 
escaped  his  eye  or  ear.  Such  an  Indian  had  a  double- 
barreled  gun,  another  a  single-barreled,  another  a  long 
one,  another  a  short  one,  another  a  lance,  and  another 
one  nothing  at  all.  One  denied  that  he  was  at  the 
fort.  Godfrey  saw  him  there  preparing  his  sons  for 
battle,  and  recollected  that  he  painted  the  face  of  one 
red,  and  drew  a  streak  of  green  over  his  eyes.  An 
other  denied  that  he  had  made  a  certain  statement  to 
Godfrey  which  he  testified  to.  "What!"  said  God 
frey,  "  don't  you  recollect  you  said  it  when  you  had 
your  hand  upon  my  wagon  and  your  foot  resting  on 
the  wheel."  To  a  boy  whom  he  charged  with  admit 
ting  that  he  had  killed  a  child  by  striking  it  with  his 
war  spear  over  the  head,  and  who  denied  it,  he  said, 
"Don't  you  remember  showing  me  the  spear  was 
broken,  and  saying  that  you  had  broken  it  in  striking 
the  child  ?"  To  another,  who  said  he  had  a  lame  arm 
at  New  Ulm,  and  couldn't  fire  a  gun,  and  had  such  a 
bad  gun  that  he  could  not  have  fired  if  he  desired,  he 
replied,  "You  say  you  could  not  fire,  and  had  a  bad 
gun.  Why  don't  you  tell  the  court  the  truth?  I 
saw  you  go  and  take  the  gun  of  an  Indian  who  was 
killed,  and  fire  two  shots;  and  then  you  borrowed 
mine,  and  shot  with  it ;  and  then  you  made  me  reload 
it,  and  then  you  fired  again." 

I  might  enumerate   numberless  instances  of  this 
kind,  in  which  his  assumed  recollection  would  cause 


TRIALS  OF   THE   PRISONERS.  267 

his  truthfulness  to  be  doubted,  if  he  had  not  been 
fully  substantiated.  It  was  a  study  to  watch  him,  as 
he  sat  in  court,  scanning  the  face  of  every  culprit  who 
came  in  with  the  eye  of  a  cat  about  to  spring.  His 
sense  of  the  ridiculous,  and  evident  appreciation  of 
the  gravity  which  should  accompany  the  statement 
of  an  important  truth,  was  strongly  demonstrated. 
When  a  prisoner  would  state,  in  answer  to  the  ques 
tion  of  "  Guilty  or  not  guilty,"  that  he-  was  innocent, 
and  Godfrey  knew  that  he  was  guilty,  he  would  drop 
his  head  upon  his  breast,  and  convulse  with  a  fit  of 
musical  laughter;  and  when  the  court  said,  "Godfrey, 
talk  to  him,"  he  would  straighten  up,  his  countenance 
become  calm,  and,  in  a  deliberate  tone,  would  soon 
force  the  Indian,  by  a  series  of  questions  in  his  own 
language,  into  an  admission  of  the  truth.  He  seemed 
a  "providence"  specially  designed  as  an  instrument 
of  justice. 

The  number  of  prisoners  tried  was  over  four  hund 
red.  Of  these,  three  hundred  and  three  were  sen 
tenced  to  death,  eighteen  to  imprisonment.  Most  of 
those  acquitted  were  Upper  Indians.  There  was  tes 
timony  that  all  these  left  their  homes  and  went  upon 
war  parties,  but  the  particular  acts  could  not  be  shown, 
and  they  were  therefore  not  convicted.  Some  people 
have  thought  that  the  haste  with  which  the  accused 
were  tried  must  have  prevented  any  accuracy  as  to 
the  ascertainment  of  their  complicity.  I  have  already 
shown  that  the  point  to  be  investigated  being  a  very 
simple  one,  viz.,  presence  and  participation  in  battles 
and  massacres  which  had  before  been  proven,  and 
many  of  the  prisoners  confessing  the  fact,  each  case 
need  only  occupy  a  few  moments.  It  was  completed 


268  THE   SIOUX   WAR  AND   MASSACRE. 

when  you  -asked  him  if  he  was  in  the  battles  of  New 
Ulm  and  the  fort,  or  either,  and  fired  at  the  whites, 
and  he  said  "yes."  The  officers  composing  the  court 
were  well  known  to  the  community  as  respectable  and 
humane  gentlemen.  They  resided  a  long  distance 
from  the  scene  of  the  massacres,  and  had  no  property 
destroyed  or  relatives  slain.  They  were  all  men  of 
more  than  average  intelligence,  and  one  of  them  (Ma 
jor  Bradley)  was  not  only  a  gallant  soldier,  but  had 
long  been  rated  among  the  first  lawyers  of  the  state. 
Before  entering  upon  the  trials  they  were  solemnly 
sworn  to  a  fair  and  impartial  discharge  of  their  duties. 
It  would  scarcely  be  supposed  that  such  men  as  these, 
after  such  an  oath,  would  take  away  human  life  with 
out  the  accused  were  guilty. 

The  fact  that  in  many  instances  the  punishment  of 
imprisonment  was  graduated  from  one  to  ten  years, 
and  that  in  nearly  one  quarter  of  the  cases  the  ac 
cused  were  acquitted,  argues  any  thing  but  inattention 
to  testimony  and  blind  condemnation. 

Mr.  Riggs,  their  missionary,  who  furnished  the 
grounds  for  the  charges,  had  free  intercourse  with 
them,  and  as  he  was  well  known  to  all  of  them  per 
sonally  or  by  reputation  for  his  friendship  and  sym 
pathy,  those  who  were  innocent  would  be  likely,  of 
their  own  accord,  to  tell  him  of  the  fact,  and  those 
who  were  members  of  his  church,  or  those  whose  char 
acters  were  good,  specially  interrogated  by  him  as  to 
their  guilt ;  and  a  gentleman  of  such  kind  impulses, 
and  who  took  such  a  deep  interest  in  their  welfare, 
would  not  have  hesitated  to  have  had  the  defensive 
or  excusatory  fact  brought  to  the  attention  of  the 
court,  and  he  did  not.  One  instance  was  that  of  Rob- 


TRIALS  OF  THE   PRISONERS.  269 

ert  Hopkins,  a  civilized  Indian,  and  a  member  of  the 
Church.  He  helped  to  save  the  life  of  Dr.  Williamson 
and  party,  and  when  he  was  tried  Mr.  Eiggs  had  this 
adduced  in  his  favor. 

Where  so  many  were  engaged  in  the  raids,  the  fact 
of  any  one  staying  at  home  would  be  a  circumstance 
much  more  marked  than  that  of  going  —  a  circum 
stance  quickly  noticed,  and  calculated  to  impress  the 
memory,  and  therefore  easily  proven. 

It  is  the  height  of  improbability  to  believe  that  any 
Indian  would  be  accused,  especially  by  Mr.  Biggs,  and 
the  subject  of  his  guilt  or  innocence  canvassed  among 
the  half-breed  witnesses  who  had  been  present  through 
the  whole  affair,  and  be  conducted  by  Provost  Marshal 
Forbes,  who  understood  the  Indian  language,  and  was 
well  acquainted  with  them,  a  distance  of  a  quarter  of 
a  mile  from  the  prison  to  the  court,  without  the  fact 
of  innocence,  if  it  existed,  being  noticed  and  called  to 
the  attention  of  the  court,  and  in  no  instance  was  there 
suggestion  made  of  any  defensive  testimony  but  what 
the  court  had  it  produced,  and  gave  to  it  due  weight 
and  consideration. 

No  one  was  sentenced  to  death  for  the  mere  rob 
bery  of  goods,  and  not  to  exceed  half  a  dozen  for  mere 
presence  in  a  battle,  although  the  prisoner  had  gone 
many  miles  to  it,  or  on  a  general  raid  against  the  set 
tlements.  It  was  required  that  it  should  be  proven 
by  the  testimony  of  witnesses,  unless  the  prisoner  ad 
mitted  the  fact,  that  he  had  fired  in  the  battles,  or 
brought  ammunition,  or  acted  as  commissary  in  sup 
plying  provisions  to  the  combatants,  or  committed 
some  separate  murder. 

Where  defensive  testimony  was  offered,  the  defend- 


270  THE   SIOUX  WAR  AND   MASSACRE. 

ant's  case  generally  appeared  worse  against  him.  The 
reader  will  recollect  the  instances  where  the  half-breed 
Milard  sent  for  Baptiste  Campbell,  and  the  deserter 
from  the  Kenville  Kangers  for  his  Indian  uncles. 
Kobert  Hopkins's  case,  too,  was  unfortunate.  He  had 
helped  Dr.  Williamson  to  escape,  but  he  fired  in  bat 
tles  ;  and  David  Faribault  swore  that  while  he  was 
between  New  Ulm  and  Bed -Wood  he  heard  a  gun 
fired  near  a  house  a  short  distance  off,  and  shortly  aft 
erward  Hopkins  and  another  Indian  approached,  and 
one  of  them  (I  think  Hopkins)  said  that  he  (Hopkins) 
had  first  shot  a  white  man  at  that  house,  and  that 
there  was  another  white  man  ran  up  stairs,  and  that 
Hopkins  wanted  the  other  Indian  to  follow,  but  he 
dared  not ;  that  Hopkins  then  proposed  that  they 
should  set  fire  to  the  house,  but  the  Indian  refused  to 
do  so,  as  he  said  the  white  man  might  have  a  gun, 
and  shoot  one  of  them  from  the  window. 

Some  have  criticised  the  action  of  the  court  because 
of  the  great  number  of  the  condemned.  Great  also 
was  the  number  of  crimes  of  which  they  were  ac 
cused. 

Many  of  the  presses  in  the  East  condemned  the  de 
mands  of  the  people  of  Minnesota  for  their  execution 
as  barbarous  in  the  extreme.  For  their  benefit  let  me 
cite  a  few  instances  from  the  history  of  their  own  an 
cestors  under  similar  circumstances.  See  how  the  in 
vestigation  and  trial  above  detailed,  and  the  refrain 
ing  of  the  people  to  visit  death  summarily  upon  the 
criminals,  or  upon  any  one  of  them,  compares  with 
their  conduct,  and  then  judge. 

In  1675  the  New  England  army  broke  into  King 
Philip's  camp  in  the  southern  part  of  Ehode  Island, 


TRIALS  OF  THE   PRISONERS.  271 

and  fired  five  hundred  wigwams;  arid  hundreds  ol' 
the  women  and  children,  the  aged,  the  wounded,  and 
the  infirm,  perished  in  the  conflagration. 

On 'the  5th  of  June,  1637,  the  soldiers  of  Connecti 
cut  forced  their  way  into  the  Pequod  fort,  in  the  east 
ern  part  of  the  state,  and  commenced  the  work  of  de 
struction.  The  Indians  fought  bravely,  but  bows  and 
arrows  availed  little  against  weapons  of  steel.  "  We 
must  burn  them,"  shouted  Mason,  their  leader ;  and, 
applying  a  firebrand,  the  frail  Indian  cabins  were  soon 
enveloped  in  the  flames. 

The  whites  hastily  withdrew  and  surrounded  the 
place,  while  the  savages,  driven  from  the  inclosure, 
became,  by  the  light  of  the  burning  fire,  a  sure  prey 
for  the  musket,  or  were  cut  down  by  the  broadsword. 
As  the  sun  shone  upon  the  scene  of  slaughter  it  show 
ed  that  the  victory  was  complete. 

About  600  Indians,  men,  women,  and  children,  had 
perished,  most  of  them  in  the  hideous  conflagration. 
Of  the  whole  number  within  the  fort,  only  seven  es 
caped,  and  seven  were  made  prisoners.  Two  of  the 
whites  were  killed  and  twenty  wounded.  The  re 
mainder  of  the  Pequods  scattered  in  every  direction ; 
straggling  parties  were  hunted  and  shot  down  like 
deer  in  the  woods ;  their  territory  was  laid  waste,  their 
settlements  burned,  and  about  200  survivors,  the  sole 
remnant  of  the  great  nation,  surrendering  in  despair, 
were  enslaved  by  the  whites,  or  forced  to  live  with 
their  allies.* 


272  THE   SIOUX  WAR  AND   MASSACRE. 


CHAPTER  XVIII. 

EXECUTION. 

THE  records  of  the  testimony  and  sentences  of  the 
Indians  was  sent  to  the  President  at  an  early  day,  but 
no  action  was  taken  for  several  weeks.  Finally,  thir 
ty-eight  were  ordered  to  be  executed  at  Mankato  on 
the  26th  day  of  February,  1863.  On  Monday,  the  22d, 
the  condemned  were  separated  from  the  other  prison 
ers  to  another  prison.  On  the  afternoon  of  the  same 
day,  Colonel  Miller,  the  officer  in  command  at  Manka 
to,  visited  them,  and  announced  the  decision  of  the 
President. 

Addressing  the  interpreter,  the  Rev.  Mr.  Riggs,  he 
said: 

"Tell  these  condemned  men  that  the  commanding 
officer  of  this  place  has  called  to  speak  to  them  upon 
a  very  serious  subject  this  afternoon. 

"  Their  Great  Father  at  Washington,  after  carefully 
reading  what  the  witnesses  testified  to  in  their  several 
trials,  has  come  to  the  conclusion  that  they  have  each 
been  guilty  of  wantonly  and  wickedly  murdering  his 
white  children.  And  for  this  reason  he  has  directed 
that  they  each  be  hanged  by  the  neck  until  they  are 
dead,  on  next  Friday;  and  that  order  will  be  carried 
into  effect  on  that  day,  at  ten  o'clock  in  the  forenoon ; 

"  That  good  ministers  are  here — both  Catholic  and 
Protestant — from  among  whom  each  one  can  select  a 
spiritual  adviser,  who  will  be  permitted  to  commune 


ill  iliiiil^i 


M2 


EXECUTION.  275 

with  them  constantly  during  the  four  days  that  they 
are  yet  to  live ; 

"  That  I  will  now  cause  to  be  read  the  letter  of  their 
Great  Father  at  Washington,  first  in  English,  and  then 
in  their  own  language.  (The  President's  order  was 
here  read.) 

"  Say  to  them  now  that  they  have  so  sinned  against 
their  fellow-men  that  there  is  no  hope  for  clemency 
except  in  the  mercy  of  Grod,  through  the  merits  of  the 
blessed  Redeemer ;  and  that  I  earnestly  exhort  them 
to  apply  to  that,  as  their  only  remaining  source  of 
comfort  and  consolation." 

The  St.  Paul  Press,  to  which  I  am  indebted  for  the 
details  of  the  execution,  says : 

"Very  naturally  it  would  be  expected  that  this 
scene  would  be  peculiarly  solemn  and  distressing  to 
the  doomed  savages.  To  all  appearances,  however,  it 
was  not  so.  The  prisoners  received  their  sentence 
very  coolly.  At  the  close  of  the  first  paragraph  they 
gave  the  usual  grunt  of  approval ;  but  as  the  second 
was  being  interpreted  to  them,  they  evidently  discov 
ered  the  drift  of  the  matter,  and  their  approval  was 
less  general,  and  with  but  little  unction. 

"Several  Indians  smoked  their  pipes  composedly 
during  the  reading,  and  we  observed  one  in  particu 
lar  who,  when  the  time  of  execution  was  designated, 
quietly  knocked  the  ashes  from  his  pipe  and  filled  it 
afresh  with  his  favorite  kin-ne-kin-nick ;  while  anoth 
er  was  slowly  rubbing  a  pipeful  of  the  same  article  in 
his  hand,  preparatory  to  a  good  smoke. 

"  The  Indians  were  evidently  prepared  for  the  visit 
and  the  announcement  of  their  sentence,  one  or  two 
having  overheard  soldiers  talking  about  it  when  they 
were  removed  to  a  separate  apartment. 


276  THE  SIOUX  WAR  AND  MASSACRE. 

"At  the  conclusion  of  the  ceremony,  Colonel  Miller 
instructed  Major  Brown  to  tell  the  Indians  that  each 
should  be  privileged  to  designate  the  minister  of  his 
choice ;  that  a  record  of  the  same  would  be  made,  and 
the  minister  so  selected  would  have  free  intercourse 
with  him. 

"  The  colonel  and  spectators  then  withdrew,  leav 
ing  the  ministers  in  consultation  with  the  prisoners." 

The  following  order  was  issued  as  per  date : 

"Head-quarters  Indian  Post  Mankato,  December  22, 1862. 

"  General  Order  No.  17. 

"  Colonel  Benjamin  F.  Smith,  of  Mankato,  Major 
W.  H.  Dike,  of  Faribault,  Hon.  Henry  A.  Swift  and 
Henry  W.  Lamberton,  Esq.,  of  St.  Peter's,  Edwin 
Bradley  and  Major  E.  W.  Dike,  of  Mankato,  and  Keu- 
ben  Butters,  of  Kasota,  together  with  such  other  good 
citizens  as  they  may  select,  are  hereby  requested  to 
act  at  this  place  on  Friday,  the  26th  inst.,  as  mount 
ed  citizen  marshals,  Colonel  Benjamin  F.  Smith  as 
chief,  and  the  others,  as  assistants. 

"The  colonel  commanding  respectfully  recommends 
that  they  assemble  at  Mankato  on  the  previous  even 
ing,  and  adopt  such  wholesome  measures  as  may  con 
tribute  to  the  preservation  of  good  order  and  strict 
propriety  during  the  said  26th  instant. 

"By  order  of  the  colonel  commanding. 

"  J.  K.  ARNOLD,  Post  Adjutant." 

On  Monday  a  general  order  was  promulgated  by 
the  commander  of  the  post,  forbidding  all  persons  in 
Mankato,  and  in  the  adjoining  district,  extending  a 
distance  of  ten  miles,  from  selling  intoxicating  liquors. 


EXECUTION.  277 

Martial  law  was  declared  by  the  promulgation  of 
the  following  order : 

"  Head-quarters  of  Indian  Post  Mankato,  December  24, 1862. 
"  General  Order  No.  21. 

"  The  colonel  commanding  publishes  the  following 
rules  to  govern  all  who  may  be  concerned ;  and  for 
the  preservation  of  the  public  peace,  declares  martial 
law  over  all  the  territory  within  a  circle  of  ten  miles 
from  these  head-quarters. 

"  1.  It  is  apprehended  by  both  the  civil  and  mili 
tary  authorities,  as  well  as  by  many  of  the  prominent 
business  men,  that  the  use  of  intoxicating  liquors, 
about  the  time  of  the  approaching  Indian  execution, 
may  result  in  a  serious  riot  or  breach  of  the  peace ; 
and  the  unrestrained  distribution  of  such  beverages  to 
enlisted  men  is  always  subversive  of  good  order  and 
military  discipline. 

"  2.  The  good  of  the  service,  the  honor  of  the  state, 
and  the  protection  of  all  concerned,  imperatively  re 
quire  that,  for  a  specified  period,  the  sale,  gift,  or  use 
of  all  intoxicating  drinks,  including  wines,  beer,  and 
malt  liquors,  be  entirely  suspended. 

"3.  From  this  necessity,  and  for  the  said  purposes, 
martial  law  is  hereby  declared  in  and  about  all  terri 
tory,  buildings,  tents,  booths,  camps,  quarters,  and  oth 
er  places  within  the  aforesaid  limits,  to  take  effect  at 
three  o'clock  on  Thursday  morning,  the  25th  inst. 

"4.  Accordingly,  the  sale,  tender,  gift,  or  use  of  all 
intoxicating  liquors  as  above  named,  by  soldiers,  so- 
journers,  or  citizens,  is  entirely  prohibited  until  the 
evening  of  the  27th  instant,  at  eleven  o'clock. 

"  5.  The  said  prohibition  to  continue  as  to  the  sale 


278  THE    SIOUX   WAR   AND    MASSACRE. 

or  gift  of  all  intoxicating  liquors  as  before  described 
to  enlisted  men  in  the  service  of  the  United  States, 
except  upon  special  written  orders  or  permission  from 
these  head  -  quarters,  until  officially  revoked  by  the 
commandant  of  this  post. 

"  6.  For  the  purpose  of  giving  full  scope  and  effect 
to  this  order,  a  special  patrol  will  visit  all  suspected 
camps,  tents,  booths,  rooms,  wagons,  and  other  places, 
and  seize  and  destroy  all  liquors  so  tendered,  given, 
sold,  or  used,  and  break  the  vessels  containing  the 
same,  and  report  the  circumstances,  with  the  name  of 
the  offender,  to  these  head-quarters. 

"  7.  This  order  will  be  read  at  the  head  of  every 
company  of  the  United  States'  forces  serving  or  com 
ing  within  said  limits. 

"  [Official.]  STEPHEN  MILLER, 

"  Col.  7th  Kegt.  Min.  Vol.,  Comd'g  Post. 
"  J. K.  ARNOLD,  Adj't  7th  Eegt.  Min.  Yols.,  Post  Adj." 

All  the  prisoners,  shortly  before  their  execution, 
made  statements  to  the  Eev.  Mr.  Eiggs  as  to  their 
participation  in  the  massacre.  In  the  first  eleven 
cases  on  his  list  I  retained  copies  of  the  records  ofthe 
trial,  and  in  these  I  will  give  the  statements  made  to 
Mr.  Eiggs,  and  what  appeared  against  them  before  the 
commission. 

1.  Te-he-hdo-ne-cha  (one  who  forbids  his  house) 
confessed,  on  trial,  to  having  gone  east  of  Beaver  Eiv- 
er  with  a  party  who  committed  murders,  and  that  he 
took  a  woman  prisoner,  with  whom  he  slept;  and 
that  he  was  in  five  battles,  but  denied  firing  a  gun  or 
killing  any  one.  A  woman  swore  he  ravished  her 
against  her  will,  and  was  delighted  with  the  acts  of 


EXECUTION.  279 

the  war  party.  (Statement  made  to  Mr.  Riggs.)  He 
said  he  was  asleep  when  the  outbreak  took  place  at 
the  Lower  Agency.  He  was  not  present  at  the  break 
ing  open  of  the  stores,  but  afterward  went  over  the 
Minnesota  Eiver  and  took  some  women  captives. 
The  men  who  were  killed  there  were  killed  by  other 
Indians. 

2.  Ta-zoo,  alias  Ptan-doo-tah  (Red  Otter).  Prisoner 
was  professional  juggler  and  medicine-man,  and  was 
convicted  of  rape  upon  the  testimony  of  the  violated 
woman  herself,  and  of  participation  in  the  murder  of 
Patville.     He  tied  her  hands.     The  lady  testified  that 
he  acted  as  if  delighted  with  the  acts  of  the  others  of 
the  war  party,  and  helped  to  plunder.     Her  testimony 
was  fully  corroborated  by  others,  and  her  own  repu 
tation  was  stainless.     Godfrey  refers  to  this  Indian  in 
his  account  of  the  Patville  murder.    (Statement.)    Pris 
oner  said  he  had  very  sore  eyes  at  the  commence 
ment  of  the  outbreak,  and  was  at  that  time  down  op 
posite  Fort  Ridgely.     He  was  with  the  party  that 
killed  Patville  and  others.     Maza-bom-doo  killed  Pat 
ville.     He  himself  took  Miss  Williams  captive.     Said 
he  would  have  violated  the  women,  but  they  resisted. 
He  thought  he  did  a  good  deed  in  saving  the  women 
alive. 

3.  "Wy-a-tah-ta-wa  (his  people)  confessed  to  having 
participated  in  the  murder  of  Patville,  and  to  have 
been  in  three  battles.     (Statement.')     He  said  he  was 
at  the  attack  on  Captain  Marsh's  company,  and  also 
at  New  Ulm.     He  and  another  Indian  shot  a  man  at 
the  same  time.     He  does  not  know  whether  he  or  the 
other  Indian  killed  the  white  man.     He  was  wounded 
in  following  up  another  white  man.     He  was  at  the 


280  THE  SIOUX  WAR  AND   MASSACRE. 

battle  of  Birch  Coolie,  where  he  fired  his  gun  four 
times.     He  fired  twice  at  Wood  Lake. 

4.  Hin-han-shoon-ko-yag-ma-ne(one  who  walks 
clothed  in  an  owl's  tail).     Convicted  on  the  testimony 
of  an  eye-witness,  Mrs.  Alexander  Hunter,  of  the  mur 
der  of  her  husband,  and  with  taking  herself  prisoner. 
Her  testimony  was  corroborated.     (Statement)     He 
said  he  was  charged  with  killing  white  people,  and  so 
condemned.    He  did  not  know  certainly  that  he  killed 
any  one.     He  was  in  all  the  battles. 

5.  Ma-za-bom-doo  (iron-blower).     Convicted  of  the 
murder  of  an  old  woman  and  two  children  at  the 
Travelers'  Home,  near  New  Ulm,  on  the  testimony  of 
Godfrey.     At  the  time  he  was  with  the  party  who 
killed  Patville.     (Statement.)     He  stated  he  was  down 
on  the  Big  Cottonwood  when  the  outbreak  took  place ; 
that  he  came  to  New  Ulm  and  purchased  various  ar 
ticles,  and  then  started  home.     He  met  the  Indians 
coming  down.     Saw  some  men  in  wagons  shot,  but 
did  not  know  who  killed  them.     He  was  present  at 
the  killing  of  Patville  and  others,  but  denied  having 
done  it  himself.     He  thought  he  did  well  by  Mat- 
tie  Williams  and  Mary  Swan  in  keeping  them  from 
being  killed.     They  lived  and  he  had  to  die,  which 
he  thought  not  quite  fair. 

6.  Wah-pa-doo-ta  (Eed  Leaf).     This  was  Godfrey's 
father-in-law.     Confessed  that  he  was  engaged  in  the 
massacres,  and  that  he  shot  a  white  man.     (Statement) 
He  said  he  was  an  old  man.     He  was  moving  when 
he  heard  of  the  outbreak.     He  saw  some  men  after 
they  were  killed  about  the  agency,  but  did  not  kill 
any  one  there.     He  started  down  to  the  fort,  and  went 
on  to  the  New  Ulm  settlement.     There  he  shot  at  a 


EXECUTION.  281 

man  through  the  window,  but  does  not  think  he  killed 
him.     He  was  himself  wounded  at  New  Ulm. 

7.  Wa-he-hna  (meaning  not  known).    Prisoner  con 
fessed  that  he  had  been  in  three  battles  and  fired  at 
white  pepple,  "  but  never  took  good  aim ;"  that  he 
belonged  to  the  Soldier's  Lodge.    David  Faribault  tes 
tified  that  he  heard  him  say  that  he  had  shot  a  mes 
senger  (Richardson)  going  to  the  fort.     (Statement.) 
He  said  that  life  did  not  kill  any  one.     If  he  had  be 
lieved  he  had  killed  a  white  man  he  would  have  fled 
with  Little  Grow.     The  witnesses  lied  on  him. 

8.  Sna-ma-ne  (Tinkling  Walker).     Convicted  of  the 
murder  of  two  persons  on  the  testimony  of  a  boy,  an 
eye-witness.    (Statement)    He  said  he  was  condemned 
on  the  testimony  of  two  German  boys.     They  say  he 
killed  two  persons.     The  boys  told  lies ;  he  was  not  at 
the  place  at  all. 

9.  Kda-in-yan-ka  (Rattling  Runner).     David  Fari-^ 
bault  swore  that  prisoner  was  very  active  among  those 
who  shot  at  Marsh's  men,  and  that  he  saw  him  firing 
in  the  battles  of  the  fort,  New  Ulm,  and  Wood  Lake ; 
that  he  took  a  prominent  part ;  was  the  exhorter,  and 
did  all  he  could  to  push  the  others  ahead ;  that,  before 
going  to  Wood  Lake,  he  ran  through  the  camp,  urg 
ing  the  Indians  to  kill  every  body  and  take  their 
goods ;  and  that  he  made  a  speech,  in  which  he  offer 
ed  two  bunches  of  wampum,  which  he  displayed,  for 
the  first  scalp,  and  two  bunches   of  crow's  feathers 
(very  precious)  for  the  scalp  of  Sibley  or  of  Forbes. 
Paul  and  Lorenzo  testified  that  he  opposed  giving 
up  the  white  captives.     (He  was  a  son-in-law  of  Wa- 
bashaw.)     (Statement.)     He  said  he  did  not  know  of 
the  uprising  on  Monday,  the  18th  of  August,  until 


282  THE   SIOUX  WAR  AND   MASSACRE. 

they  had  killed  a  number  of  men.  He  then  went  out 
and  met  Little  Crow,  and  tried  to  stop  the  murders, 
but  could  not.  The  next  day  his  son  was  brought 
home  wounded  from  Fort  Eidgely.  He  forbade  the 
delivery  up  of  the  white  captives  to  Paul  when  he  de 
manded  them,  and  he  supposed  that  he  was  to  be  hung 
for  that. 

10.  Do-wan-sa  (the  Singer)  confessed  to  having  been 
in  the  battles  of  New  Ulm,  the  fort,  Birch  Coolie,  and 
Wood  Lake,  and  on  the  war  party  of  eight  that  went 
to  the  Swan  Lake  House,  in  Nicollet,  and  committed 
murders  on  the  road.    This  was  the  party  which  com 
mitted  one  of  the  outrages  detailed  in  the  chapter 
upon  the  trials.     Godfrey,  who  first  stated  the  facts 
which  led  to  the  arrest,  testified  that  prisoner  told  him 
that  there  were  three  women  and  two  men  in  a  wag 
on,  and  these  were  all  killed  ;  that  he  (prisoner)  want 
ed  to  take  one  good-looking  young  woman  home,  and 
her  mother  interfered,  and  he  told  the  others  to  shoot 
the  mother,  which  they  did,  and,  in  doing  so,  wound 
ed  the  daughter,  who  fell  as  if  dead.     That  he  went 
away,  and  one  of  the  Indians  said  she  wasn't  dead ; 
and  on  his  running  to  her  and  pulling  up  her  clothes, 
she  jumped  up,  and  another  Indian   split  her  head 
open  with  his  tomahawk.     The  prisoner  confessed 
that  what  Godfrey  stated  was  true,  only  he  didn't  kill 
any  body.     (Statement.)     He  said  he  was  one  of  six 
who  were  down  in  the  Swan  Lake  neighborhood.    He 
knew  that  they  killed  two  men  and  two  women,  but 
this  was  done  by  the  rest  of  the  party,  and  not  by 
himself. 

11.  Hapan  (second  child  if  a  son).     He  confessed 
he  was  with  the  war  party  that  killed  Patville,  and 


EXECUTION.  283 

that  he  took  hold  of  one  of  the  women  by  the  arm 
"  to  save  her  life"  (Statement.)  He  said  he  was  not  in 
the  massacre  of  New  Ulrn  nor  the  agency.  He  was 
with  the  company  who  killed  Patville  and  his  com 
panions.  .  He  took  one  of  the  worsen.  0-ya-tay-ta-wa 
killed  Patville. 

Among  the  others  were  White  Dog,  who  was  said 
to  have  given  the  order  to  fire  on  Marsh's  men  at  the 
Bed-Wood  ferry  (he  insisted  on  his  innocence  to  the 
last),  Cut-nose,  Chaska,  one  of  the  two  who  shot  George 
Gleason,  and  the  half-breeds  Baptiste  Campbell,  Hen 
ry  Milard,  and  Hippolyte  Auge,  who  was  engaged  in 
the  murder  of  the  white  man  opposite  Crow's  village, 
and  Na-pe-shue,  convicted  of  participating  in  the  mas 
sacres,  and  who  boasted  of  having  killed  nineteen  per 
sons.  Those  who  were  simply  engaged  in  battles, 
with  the  exception  of  White  Dog,  were  not  included 
in  the  order.  Mr.  Biggs,  in  closing  up  his  written 
account,  of  their  statements,  says :  "And  now,  guilty 
or  not  guilty,  may  God  have  mercy  upon  these  poor 
human  creatures,  and,  if  it  be  possible,  save  them  in 
the  other  world  through  Jesus  Christ  his  Son.  Amen. 

"In  making  these  statements,  confessions,  and  de 
nials,  they  were  generally  calm ;  but  a  few  individuals 
were  quite  excited.  They  were  immediately  checked 
by  others,  and  told  they  were  all  dead  men,  and  there 
was  no  reason  why  they  should  not  tell  the  truth. 
Many  of  them  have  indited  letters  to  their  friends  in 
which  they  say  that  they  are  very  dear  to  them,  but 
will  see  them  no  more.  They  exhort  them  not  to  cry 
or  change  their  dress  for  them.  Some  of  them  say 
they  expect  to  go  and  dwell  with  the  Good  Spirit,  and 
express  the  hope  that  their  friends  will  all  join  them. 


284  THE  SIOUX  WAR  AND   MASSACRE. 

"On  Tuesday  evening  they  extemporized  a  dance 
with  a  wild  Indian  song.  It  was  feared  that  this  was 
only  a  cover  for  something  else  which  might  be  at 
tempted,  and  their  chains  were  thereafter  fastened  to 
the  floor.  It  seems,  however,  rather  probable  that 
they  were  only  singing  their  death-song.  Their  friends 
from  the  other  prison  have  been  in  to  bid  them  fare 
well,  and  they  are  now  ready  to  die." 

Before  the  execution,  Wabashaw's  son-in-law  (No.  9) 
dictated  the  following  letter  to  that  chief: 

"  WABASHAW, — You  have  deceived  me-  You  told  me  that  if  we 
followed  the  advice  of  General  Sibley,  and  gave  ourselves  up  to  the 
whites,  all  would  be  well ;  no  innocent  man  would  be  injured.  I  have 
not  killed,  wounded,  or  injured  a  white  man,  or  any  white  persons.  I 
have  not  participated  in  the  plunder  of  their  property ;  and  yet  to-day 
I  am  set  apart  for  execution,  and  must  die  in  a  few  days,  while  men 
who  are  guilty  will  remain  in  prison.  My  wife  is  your  daughter,  my 
children  are  your  grandchildren.  I  leave  them  all  in  your  care  and 
under  your  protection.  Do  not  let  them  suffer ;  and  when  my  chil 
dren  are  grown  up,  let  them  know  that  their  father  died  because  he 
followed  the  advice  of  his  chief,  and  without  having  the  blood  of  a 
white  man  to  answer  for  to  the  Great  Spirit. 

"My  wife  and  children  are  dear  to  me.  Let  them  not  grieve  for 
me.  Let  them  remember  that  the  brave  should  be  prepared  to  meet 
death ;  and  I  will  do  as  becomes  a  Dakota. 

"Your  son-in-law,  EDA-IN-YAN-KA." 

"  On  "Wednesday,  each  Indian  set  apart  for  execu 
tion  was  permitted  to  send  for  two  or  three  of  his  rela 
tives  or  friends  confined  in  the  same  prison  for  the  pur 
pose  of  bidding  them  a  final  adieu,  and  to  carry  such 
messages  to  absent  relatives  as  each  person  might  be 
disposed  to  send.  Major  Brown  was  present  during 
the  interviews,  and  describes  them  as  very  sad  and  af 
fecting.  Each  Indian  had  some  word  to  send  to  his 
parents  or  family.  "When  speaking  of  their  wives  and 
children  almost  every  one  was  affected  to  tears. 


EXECUTION.  285 

"Good  counsel  was  sent  to  the  children.  They 
were  in  many  cases  exhorted  to  an  adoption  of  Chris 
tianity  and  the  life  of  good  feeling  toward  the  whites. 
Most  of  them  spoke  confidently  of  their  hopes  of  salva 
tion.  They  had  been  constantly  attended  by  Eev.  Dr. 
Williamson,  Kev.  Van  Eavoux,  and  Kev.  S.  E.  Eiggs, 
whose  efforts  in  bringing  these  poor  criminals  to  a 
knowledge  of  the  merits  of  the  blessed  Eedeemer  had 
been  eminently  successful.  These  gentlemen  were  all 
conversant  with  the  Dakota  language,  and  could  con 
verse  and  plead  with  the  Indians  in  their  own  tongue. 

"  There  is  a  ruling  passion  with  many  Indians,  and 
Tazoo  could  not  refrain  from  its  enjoyment  even  in 
this  sad  hour.  Ta-ti-mi-ma  was  sending  word  to  his 
relatives  not  to  mourn  for  his  loss.  He  said  he  was 
old,  and  could  not  hope  to  live  long  under  any  cir 
cumstances,  and  his  execution  would  not  shorten  his 
days  a  great  deal,  and  dying  as  he  did,  innocent  of  any 
white  man's  blood,  he  hoped  would  give  him  a  better 
chance  to  be  saved;  therefore  he  hoped  his  friends 
would  consider  his  death  but  as  a  removal  from  this 
to  a  better  world.  £I  have  every  hope,'  said  he,  'of 
going  direct  to  the  abode  of  the  Great  Spirit,  where  I 
shall  always  be  happy.'  This  last  remark  reached  the 
ears  of  Tazoo,  who  was  also  speaking  to  his  friends, 
and  he  elaborated  upon  it  in  this  wise :  '  Yes,  tell  our 
friends  that  we  are  being  removed  from  this  world 
over  the  same  path  they  must  shortly  travel.  We  go 
first,  but  many  of  our  friends  may  follow  us  in  a  very 
short  time.  I  expect  to  go  direct  to  the  abode  of  the 
Great  Spirit,  and  to  be  happy  when  I  get  there ;  but 
we  are  told  that  the  road  is  long  and  the  distance  great; 
therefore,  as  I  am  slow  in  all  my  movements,  it  will 


OF  THE 

UNIVERSITY 

OF 


286  THE   SIOUX  WAR  AND   MASSACRE. 

probably  take  me  a  long  time  to  reach  the  end  of  the 
journey,  and  I  should  not  be  surprised  if  some  of  the 
young,  active  men  we  will  leave  behind  us  will  pass 
me  on  the  road  before  I  reach  the  place  of  my  desti 
nation.' 

"In  shaking  hands  with  Ked  Iron  and  Akipa,  Tazoo 
said :  '  Friends,  last  summer  you  were  opposed  to  us. 
You  were  living  in  continual  apprehension  of  an  at 
tack  from  those  who  were  determined  to  exterminate 
the  whites.  Yourselves  and  families  were  subjected 
to  many  taunts,  insults,  and  threats.  Still  you  stood 
firm  in  our  friendship  for  the  whites,  and  continually 
counseled  the  Indians  to  abandon  their  raid  against 
the  whites.  Your  course  was  condemned  at  the  time, 
but  now  you  see  your  wisdom.  You  were  right  when 
you  said  the  whites  could  not  be  exterminated,  and 
the  attempt  indicated  folly;  you  and  your  families 
were  prisoners,  and  the  lives  of  all  in  danger.  To-day 
you  are  here  at  liberty,  assisting  in  feeding  and  guard 
ing  us,  and  thirty-nine  men  will  die  in  two  days  be 
cause  they  did  not  follow  your  example  and  advice.' 

"  Several  of  the  prisoners  were  completely  over 
come  during  the  leave-taking,  and  were  compelled  to 
abandon  conversation.  Others  again  (and  Tazoo  was 
one)  affected  to  disregard  the  dangers  of  their  position, 
and  laughed  and  joked  apparently  as  unconcerned  as 
if  they  were  sitting  around  a  camp-fire  in  perfect  free 
dom. 

"  On  Thursday,  the  women  who  were  employed  as 
cooks  for  the  prisoners,  all  of  whom  had  relations 
among  the  condemned,  were  admitted  to  the  prison. 
This  interview  was  less  sad,  but  still  interesting. 
Locks  of  hair,  blankets,  coats,  and  almost  every  other 


EXECUTION.  287 

article  in  possession  of  the  prisoners,  were  given  in 
trust  for  some  relative  or  friend  who  had  been  forgot 
ten  or  overlooked  during  the  interview  of  the  previous 
day.  The  idea  of  allowing  women  to  witness  their 
weakness  is  repugnant  to  an  Indian,  and  will  account 
for  this.  The  messages  were  principally  advice  to 
their  friends  to  bear  themselves  with  fortitude  and  re 
frain  from  great  mourning.  The  confidence  of  many 
in  their  salvation  was  again  reiterated. 

"Late  on  Thursday  night,  in  company  with  Lieuten 
ant  Colonel  Marshall,  the  reporter  visited  the  building 
occupied  by  the  doomed  Indians.  They  were  quar 
tered  on  the  ground  floor  of  the  three-story  stone 
building  erected  by  the  late  General  Leech. 

"  They  were  all  fastened  to  the  floor  by  chains,  two 
by  two.  Some  were  sitting  up,  smoking  and  convers 
ing,  while  others  were  reclining,  covered  with  blank 
ets  and  apparently  asleep.  The  three  half-breeds  and 
one  or  two  others,  only,  were  dressed  in  citizens' 
clothes.  The  rest  all  wore  the  breech-clout,  leggins, 
and  blankets,  and  not  a  few  were  adorned  with  paint. 
The  majority  of  them  were  young  men,  though  sever 
al  were  quite  old  and  gray-headed,  ranging  perhaps 
toward  seventy.  One  was  quite  a  youth,  not  over 
sixteen.  They  all  appeared  cheerful  and  contented, 
and  scarcely  to  reflect  on  the  certain  doom  which 
awaited  them.  To  the  gazers,  the  recollection  of  how 
short  a  time  since  they  had  been  engaged  in  the  dia 
bolical  work  of  murdering  indiscriminately  both  old 
and  young,  sparing  neither  sex  nor  condition,  sent  a 
thrill  of  horror  through  the  veins.  Now  they  were 
perfectly  harmless,  and  looked  as  innocent  as  chil 
dren.  They  smiled  at  your  entrance,  and  held  out 


288  THE   SIOUX  WAR  AND   MASSACRE. 

their  hands  to  be  shaken,  which  yet  appeared  to  be 
gory  with  the  blood  of  babes.  Oh.  treachery,  thy 
name  is  Dakota. 

"  Father  Kavoux  spent  the  whole  night  among  the 
doomed  ones,  talking  with  them  concerning  their  fate, 
and  endeavoring  to  impress  upon  them  a  serious  view 
of  the  subject.  He  met  with  some  success,  and  dur 
ing  the  night  several  were  baptized,  and  received  the 
communion  of  the  Church. 

"At  daylight  the  reporter  was  there  again.  That 
good  man,  Father  Eavoux,  was  still  with  them ;  also 
Rev.  Dr.  Williamson :  and  whenever  either  of  these 
worthy  men  addressed  them,  they  were  listened  to 
with  marked  attention.  The  doomed  ones  wished  it 
to  be  known  among  their  friends,  and  particularly 
their  wives  and  children,  how  cheerful  and  happy 
they  all  had  died,  exhibiting  no  fear  of  this  dread 
event.  To  the  skeptical  it  appeared  not  as  an  evi* 
dence  of  Christian  faith,  but  a  steadfast  adherence  to 
their  heathen  superstitions. 

"  They  shook  hands  with  the  officers  who  came  in 
among  them,  bidding  them  good-by  as  if  they  were 
going  on  a  long  and  pleasant  journey.  They  had  add 
ed  some  fresh  streaks  of  vermilion  and  ultramarine 
to  their  countenances,  as  their  fancy  suggested,  evi 
dently  intending  to  fix  themselves  off  as  gay  as  pos 
sible  for  the  coming  exhibition.  They  commenced 
singing  their  death-song,  Tazoo  leading,  and  nearly 
all  joining.  It  was  wonderfully  exciting. 

"At  half  past  seven  all  persons  were  excluded  from 
the  room  except  those  necessary  to  help  prepare  the 
prisoners  for  their  doom.  Under  the  superintendence 
of  Major  Brown  and  Captain  Eedfield,  their  irons 


EXECUTION.  289 

were  knocked  off,  and  one  by  one  were  tied  by  cords, 
their  elbows  being  pinioned  behind  and  the  wrists  in 
front,  but  about  six  inches  apart.  This  operation  oc 
cupied  till  about  nine  o'clock.  In  the  mean  time  the 
scene  was  much  enlivened  by  their  songs  and  con 
versation,  keeping  up  the  most  cheerful  appearance. 
As  they  were  being  pinioned,  they  went  round  the 
room  shaking  hands  with  the  soldiers  and  reporters, 
bidding  them  'good-by,'  etc.  White  Dog  requested 
not  to  be  tied,  and  said  that  he  could  keep  his  hands 
down ;  but  of  course  his  request  could  not  be  com 
plied  with.  He  said  that  Little  Crow,  Young  Six,  and 
Big  Eagle's  brother  got  them  into  this  war,  and  now 
he  and  others  are  to  die  for  it.  After  all  were  prop 
erly  fastened,  they  stood  up  in  a  row  around  the 
room,  and  another  exciting  death-song  was  sung. 
They  then  sat  down  very  quietly,  and  commenced 
smoking  again.  Father  Eavoux  came  in,  and  after 
addressing  them  a  few  moments,  knelt  in  prayer,  read 
ing  from  a  Prayer-book  in  the  Dakota  language,  which 
a  portion  of  the  condemned  repeated  after  him.  Dur 
ing  this  ceremony  nearly  all  paid  the  most  strict  at 
tention,  and  several  were  affected  even  to  tears.  He 
then  addressed  them  again,  first  in  Dakota,  then  in 
French,  which  was  interpreted  by  Baptiste  Campbell, 
one  of  the  condemned  half-breeds.  The  caps  were 
then  put  on  their  heads.  These  were  made  of  white 
muslin  taken  from  the  Indians  when  their  camps 
were  captured,  and  which  had  formed  part  of  the  spoils 
they  had  taken  from  the  murdered  traders.  They 
were  made  long,  and  looked  like  a  meal-sack,  but,  be 
ing  rolled  up,  only  came  down  to  the  forehead,  and 
allowed  their  painted  faces  yet  to  be  seen. 

N 


290  THE   SIOUX  WAR  AND  MASSACRE. 

"  They  received  these  evidences  of  their  near  ap 
proach  to  death  with  evident  dislike.  When  it  had 
been  adjusted  on  one  or  two,  they  looked  around  on 
the  others  who  had  not  yet  received  it  with  an  ap 
pearance  of  shame.  Chains  and  cords  had  not  moved 
them — their  wear  was  not  considered  dishonorable — 
but  this  covering  of  the  head  with  a  white  cap  was 
humiliating.  There  was  no  more  singing,  and  but 
little  conversation  and  smoking  now.  All  sat  around 
the  room,  most  of  them  in  a  crouched  position,  await 
ing  their  doom  in  silence,  or  listening  to  the  remarks 
of  Father  Ravoux,  who  still  addressed  them.  Once 
in  a  while  they  brought  their  small  looking-glasses 
before  their  faces  to  see  that  their  countenances  yet 
preserved  the  proper  modicum  of  paint.  The  three 
half-breeds  were  the  most  of  all  affected,  and  their  de 
jection  of  countenance  was  truly  pitiful  to  behold. 

"  At  precisely  ten  o'clock  the  condemned  were  mar 
shaled  in  a  procession,  and,  headed  by  Captain  Eed- 
field,  marched  out  into  the  street,  and  directly  across 
through  files  of  soldiers  to  the  scaffold,  which  had 
been  erected  in  front,  and  were  delivered  to  the  offi 
cer  of  the  day,  Captain  Burt.  They -went  eagerly  and 
cheerfully,  even  crowding  and  jostling  each  other  to 
be  ahead,  just  like  a  lot  of  hungry  boarders  rushing 
to  dinner  in  a  hotel.  The  soldiers  who  were  on  guard 
in  their  quarters  stacked  arms  and  followed  them,  and 
they,  in  turn,  were  followed  by  the  clergy,  reporters, 
etc. 

"As  they  commenced  the  ascent  of  the  scaffold  the 
death-song  was  again  started,  and  when  they  had  all 
got  up,  the  noise  they  made  was  truly  hideous.  It 
seemed  as  if  Pandemonium  had  broken  loose.  It  had 


EXECUTION.  291 

a  wonderful  effect  in  keeping  up  their  courage.  One 
young  fellow,  who  had  been  given  a  cigar  by  one  of 
the  reporters  just  before  marching  from  their  quar 
ters,  was  smoking  it  on  the  stand,  puffing  away  very 
coolly  during  the  intervals  of  the  hideous  '  Hi-yi-yi,' 
'  Hi-yi-yi,'  and  even  after  the  cap  was  drawn  over  his 
face  he  managed  to  get  it  up  over  his  mouth  and 
smoke.  Another  was  smoking  his  pipe.  The  noose 
having  been  promptly  adjusted  over  the  necks  of 
each  by  Captain  Libby,  all  was  ready  for  the  fatal 
signal. 

"  The  solemnity  of  the  scene  was  here  disturbed  by 
an  incident  which,  if  it  were  not  intensely  disgusting, 
might  be  cited  as  a  remarkable  evidence  of  the  con 
tempt  of  death  which  is  the  traditional  characteristic 
of  the  Indian.  One  of  the  Indians,  in  the  rhapsody 
of  his  death-song,  conceived  an  insult  to  the  spectators 
which  it  required  an  Indian  to  conceive,  and  a  dirty 
dog  of  anjndian  to  execute. 

"  The  refrain  of  his  song  was  to  the  effect  that  if  a 
body  was  found  near  New  Ulm  with  his  head  cut  off, 
and  placed  in  a  certain  indelicate  part  of  the  body,  he 
did  it.  '  It  is  I,'  he  sung, '  it  is  I ;'  and  suited  the  ac 
tion  to  the  word  by  an  indecent  exposure  of  his  per 
son,  in  hideous  mockery  of  the  triumph  of  that  jus 
tice  whose  sword  was  already  falling  on  his  head. 

"  The  scene  at  this  juncture  was  one  of  awful  inter 
est.  A  painful  and  breathless  suspense  held  the  vast 
crowd,  which  had  assembled  from  all  quarters  to  wit 
ness  the  execution. 

"  Three  slow,  measured,  and  distinct  beats  on  the 
drum  by  Major  Brown,  who  had  been  announced  as 
signal  officer,  and  the  rope  was  cut  by  Mr.  Duly  (the 


292 


THE   SIOUX  WAR  AND   MASSACRE. 


same  who  killed  Lean  Bear,  and  whose  family  were 
attacked) — the  scaffold  fell,  and  thirty -seven  lifeless 
bodies  were  left  dangling  between  heaven  and  earth. 
One  of  the  ropes  was  broken,  and  the  body  of  Rat 
tling  Kunner  fell  to  the  ground.  The  neck  had  prob 
ably  been  broken,  as  but  little  signs  of  life  were  ob 
served  ;  but  he  was  immediately  hung  up  again. 


ONE  OF  TUB  EXECUTED  INDIANS. 


While  the  signal-beat  was  being  given,  numbers  were 
seen  to  clasp  the  hands  of  their  neighbors,  which  in 
several  instances  continued  to  be  clasped  till  the  bod 
ies  were  cut  down. 


EXECUTION.  293 

"As  the  platform  fell,  there  was  one,  not  loud,  but 
prolonged  cheer  from  the  soldiery  and  citizens  who 
were  spectators,  and  then  all  were  quiet  and  earnest 
witnesses  of  the  scene.  For  so  many,  there  was  but 
little  suffering ;  the  necks  of  all,  or  nearly  all,  were 
evidently  dislocated  by  the  fall,  and  the  after  strug 
gling  was  slight.  The  scaffold  fell  at  a  quarter  past 
ten  o'clock,  and  in  twenty  minutes  the  bodies  had  all 
been  examined  by  Surgeons  Le  Boutillier,  Sheardown, 
Finch,  Clark,  and  others,  and  life  pronounced  extinct. 

"  The  bodies  were  then  cut  down,  placed  in  four 
army  wagons,  and,  attended  by  Company  K  as  a  bur 
ial-party,  and  under  the  command  of  Lieutenant  Col 
onel  Marshall,  were  taken  to  the  grave  prepared  for 
them  among  the  willows  on  the  sand-bar  nearly  in 
front  of  the  town.  They  were  all  deposited  in  one 
grave,  thirty  feet  in  length  by  twelve  in  width,  and 
four  feet  deep,  being  laid  on  the.  bottom  in  two  rows, 
with  their  feet  together,  and  their  heads  to  the  outside. 
They  were  simply  covered  with  their  blankets,  and  the 
earth  thrown  over  them.  The  other  condemned  In 
dians  were  kept  close  in  their  quarters,  where  they 
were  chained,  and  not  permitted  to  witness  the  exe 
cutions. 

"  The  forces  of  the  militia  were  disposed  during  the 
time  of  the  execution  as  follows :  Colonel  Wilkin,  in 
command  of  the  9th  and  several  companies  of  the 
6th,  present  at  half  past  eight,  took  position  in  line  of 
battle  in  front  of  the  scaffold,  and  also  occupied  the 
river  front.  Colonel  Baker,  in  command  of  the  10th 
regiment,  took  up  a  position  on  the  north  side.  Lieu 
tenant  Colonel  Marshall,  in  command  of  four  compa 
nies  of  the  7th  regiment,  took  position  on  the  south 


294  THE   SIOUX  WAR  AND  MASSACRE. 

side.  Lieutenant  Colonel  Jennison,  in  command  of 
one  company  of  the  7th  and  one  of  the  10th,  took  po 
sition  in  the  yard  of  the  prison,  and,  after  the  platform 
fell,  was  relieved  by  Major  Bradley,  in  command  of 
two  companies  of  the  10th.  Major  Buell,  in  com 
mand  of  three  companies  of  the  Mounted  Eangers, 
disposed  of  his  forces  around  the  forces  of  infantry. 
Captain  White's  mounted  company  of  the  10th  regi 
ment  acted  as  patrol  guards.  The  whole  force  formed 
a  large  square,  with  the  scaffold  in  the  centre,  from 
which  all  persons  who  had  no  business  within  the 
lines  were  excluded.  The  number  present  is  estima 
ted  as  follows :  6th  regiment,  under  command  of  Lieu 
tenant  Colonel  Averill,  200;  7th  regiment,  Colonel 
Miller,  425 ;  9th  regiment,  Colonel  Wilkin,  161 ;  10th 
regiment,  Colonel  Baker,  425;  Captain  White's  mount 
ed  men,  35;  Mounted  Eangers,  Major  Buell,  273;  in 
all,  about  1419  men. 

"  The  arrangement  for  the  execution  of  so  many 
persons  at  the  same  instant  were  most  perfect,  and 
great  credit  is  due  Colonel  Miller  for  devising,  and  car 
rying  out  so  successfully,  his  well-digested  plan.  Nei 
ther  can  too  much  credit  be  given  to  Captain  Burt,  the 
officer  of  the  day,  Lieutenant  Colonel  Marshall,  Major 
Brown,  and  Captain  Redfield,  the  provost  marshal. 

"All  day  and  night  on  Thursday,  and  on  the  morn 
ing  of  Friday  up  to  the  time  of  the  execution,  people 
were  continually  arriving  to  witness  the  hanging. 
Troops  were  constantly  coming  in  from  all  points, 
and  the  streets  were  densely  crowded.  The  roofs  and 
windows  of  all  buildings  in  the  vicinity,  and  all  other 
eligible  places,  were  early  occupied  by  anxious  spec 
tators,  including  the  sand-bar  in  the  river  and  the  op- 


EXECUTION.  295 

posite  bank.  All  was  quiet  and  orderly.  Owing  to 
the  strict  enforcement  of  martial  law,  not  a  single  case 
of  drunkenness  or  disorderly  conduct  occurred,  and 
after  the  bodies  had  been  cut  down  they  began  to  re 
turn  from  -the  scene,  many  leaving  town  immediately. 
All  expressed  themselves  as  satisfied  that  the  execu 
tion  was  being  carried  out,  and  there  were  no  threats 
or  apparent  wishes  to  execute  summary  vengeance  on 
the  others." 

In  the  spring  the  other  condemned  were  taken 
down  the  Mississippi  to  Davenport,  and  are  now  close 
ly  confined.  The  people  desired  their  execution  as 
an  example  to  other  neighboring  tribes,  and  to  pre 
vent  their  again  perpetrating  other  outrages.  Per 
haps  the  effect  of  the  first  has  been  obtained  by  the 
executions  already  had;  and  if  the  confinement  of 
the  others  remains  secure,  they  have  no  complaint  to 
make,  although  they  think  a  much  easier  solution  of 
the  question,  and  one  consonant  with  justice,  would 
have  been  to  carry  out  the  sentence  of  the  commission. 
Soon  after,  the  inmates  of  the  camp  at  Fort  Snelling 
were  removed  high  up  the  Missouri,  as  were  also  the 
Winnebagoes,  where  they  were  placed  upon  adjoin 
ing  reservations.  It  is  a  horrible  region,  filled  with 
the  petrified  remains  of  the  huge  lizards  and  creep 
ing  things  of  the  first  days  of  time.  The  soil  is  mis 
erable  ;  rain  rarely  ever  visits  it.  The  game  is  scarce, 
and  the  alkaline  waters  of  the  streams  and  springs 
are  almost  certain  death. 


296  THE   SIOUX  WAR  AND  MASSACRE. 


CHAPTER  XIX. 

DEATH   OF   LITTLE   CROW. 

IN  the  territory  of  Dakota,  nearly; five  hundred 
miles  northwest  of  St.  Paul,  is  the  celebrated  Mini- 
wakan,  or  Devil's  Lake.  It  is  full  sixty-five  miles  in 
length,  and  its  waters  are  salt  as  those  of  the  ocean. 
The  immediate  shores  are  equally  divided  between 
prairie  and  timber;  but  a  mile  beyond,  the  country  is 
one  vast  rolling  plain,  destitute  of  trees,  and  dotted 
over  with  little  lakes  of  salt  water.  This  inland  sea 
is  filled  with  fish;  and  gulls,  and  ocean  birds,  and 
flocks  of  great  white  swan  are  continually  skimming 
over  its  waves.  The  beach  is  covered  with  the  petri 
fied  remains  of  wood,  and  of  the  bones  of  fish  and  ani 
mals.* 

To  this  neighborhood  Little  Crow  and  his  follow 
ers,  after  the  defeat  at  Wood  Lake,  made  their  way 
and  encamped,  where  they  were  joined  by  nearly  all 
the  Minnesota  Sioux  who  had  not  surrendered  or  been 
captured,  numbering  some  four  thousand  souls,  and  by 
the  Yanktonais.  During  the  winter  the  chief  sent 
presents  to  many  of  the  Western  tribes,  and  endeav 
ored  to  enlist  them  in  a  general  war ;  and  about  the 
first  of  June  went  in  person  to  St.  Joseph  and  Fort 
Garry,  in  the  British  possessions,  and  requested  am 
munition.  It  was  refused  him. 

When  at  St.  Joseph,  Little  Crow  had  on  a  black 

*  Pioneer  and  Democrat. 


. 


DEATH  OF   LITTLE   CROW.  299 

coat,  with  velvet  collar ;  a  breech -clout  of  broadcloth  ; 
a  fine  ladies'  shawl  was  wrapped  around  his  head,  and 
another  knotted  around  his  waist.  He  had  discarded 
the  rifle,  and  carried  in  his  hand  a  "  seven  -shooter," 
one  of  the.  trophies  of  the  last  summer's  raid.  He 
was  aware  of  the  deportation  of  his  friends  to  the 
Missouri,  of  which  the  white  residents  there  had  not 
yet  received  the  news.  A  swift-footed  "  good  Indian" 
had  outstripped  the  mails.  Little  Crow  and  sixty  of 
his  braves  accompanied  him  to  Fort  Garry,  where 
they  had  a  "  war-dance,"  after  which  the  chief  made 
a  speech,  saying  "  that  he  considered  himself  as  good 
as  dead,  but  that  he  had  plenty  of  warriors  yet  to  rely 
on,  and  would  not  be  caught  during  the  summer." 
He  had  before  been  refused  a  tract  of  land  in  the  Brit 
ish  dominions  to  settle  on,  and  now  the  only  request 
he  said  he  had  to  make  was  a  little  ammunition  "  to 
kill  Americans"  with.  With  the  chief  were  three 
white  captives — young  boys — who  were  liberated  by 
the  noble  charity  of  "Father  Germaine,"  a  Catholic 
missionary  at  St.  Joseph.  A  horse  was  given  as  ran 
som  for  the  two  younger,  and  a  horse  and  two  blank 
ets  for  the  eldest.  The  good  priest  allowed  himself 
no  rest  for  several  days  and  nights  in  order  to  accom 
plish  his  charitable  object.  He  gave  his  all,  and  ran 
in  debt  to  obtain  the  means  of  their  liberation.  The 
following  is  a  letter  which  he  wrote  upon  the  subject 
to  Mr.  Joseph  le  May,  the  collector  of  the  port  at 
Pembina : 

"  St.  Joseph,  D.  T.,  June  3, 1863. 

"MR.  LE  MAY, — DEAR  SIR, — I  would  be  most  happy  to  give  you 
many  details  of  my  present  position,  but  my  occupations  do  not  per 
mit  me.  I  am  here  continually  on  the  "look-out."  I  examine  the 
different  rumors  ;  I  lend  a  very  attentive  ear  to  the  Indian  meetings, 


300  THE   SIOUX  WAR   AND   MASSACRE. 

etc.  The  very  murmur  of  the  waters,  the  rustling  of  the  leaves — in 
fact,  the  least  noise,  rouses  my  fears. 

"You  are  aware  that  '•Petit  Corbeau^  with  his  bloodthirsty  repu 
tation,  came  to  pay  a  visit  to  our  mountain.  Still,  his  attitude  is  not 
indeed  very  sinister.  Far  from  attempting  to  trouble  the  peace  of 
the  half-breeds,  he,  on  the  contrary,  seems  very  anxious  to  gain  their 
sympathy.  I  profited  by  his  peaceful  disposition  to  put  into  execu 
tion  a  design  that  I  had  formed  some  time  since.  Having  heard  that 
those  barbarians  had  torn  away  from  parental  affection  that  which  is 
most  dear,  I  knew  that  those  Sioux  had  children  of  civilization  under 
their  fierce  and  tyrannical  power.  Consequently,  in  order  to  rescue 
those  poor  children  from  such  slavery,  I  gave  all  the  money  I  pos 
sessed  for  their  ransom.  I  dressed  them  with  my  own  clothing,  keep 
ing  for  myself  but  what  is  strictly  necessary. 

"I  have  my  cross  and  my  breviary ;  thus  I  feel  happy  and  content. 
My  privations  are  amply  recompensed.  My  efforts  have  been  crown 
ed  with  success." 

A  network  of  fortifications  now  existed  along  the 
whole  frontier,  garrisoned  by  two  thousand  soldiers, 
and  early  in  June  General  Sibley,  with  a  force  of  be 
tween  two  and  three  thousand  men,  started  for  Devil's 
Lake,  by  way  of  the  Minnesota  Eiver  and  Fort  Aber- 
crornbie.  About  the  same  time,  General  Sully,  with 
a  large  body  of  cavalry,  passed  up  the  Missouri  to  co 
operate  with  Sibley,  and  cut  off  the  retreat  of  the  sav 
ages. 

Early  in  the  spring  small  squads  of  Indians  made 
their  way  back  to  the  state,  and,  penetrating  far  into 
the  interior  through  our  defensive  lines,  renewed  the 
massacres  of  the  previous  years.  They  continued 
their  depredations  throughout  most  of  the  season,  kill 
ing  some  thirty  whites,  with  a  loss  of  about  a  dozen 
of  their  own  number.  So  bold  did  they  become,  that 
they  lighted  their  camp-fires  within  twelve  miles  of 
St.  Paul. 

The  horrible  details  of  the  attack  upon  the  Dustin 


rlv  *. >*w 


i  I 


DEATH  OF   LITTLE   CROW.  303 

family,  in  M'Leod  County,  show  that  the  outrages 
were  accompanied  by  all  the  barbarities  of  the  pre 
vious  season.  The  family  were  traveling  in  an  open 
lumber  box-wagon,  and  were  attacked  on  Monday, 
the  29th  of  June.  It  was  not  until  the  Wednesday 
following  that  they  were  found,  and  the  sight  of  their 
decomposed  and  mangled  bodies  were  truly  awful. 

Amos  Dustin,  the  father,  was  sitting  in  the  front 
part  of  the  wagon,  dead,  with  an  arrow  sticking  in  his 
body,  and  a  deep  wound  in  his  breast,  probably  made 
by  a  tomahawk  or  war-club.  His  left  hand  had  been 
cut  off,  and  carried  away  by  the  Indians. 

Beneath  his  seat  crouched  a  little  child  of  six  years, 
who  had  concealed  herself  there  when  the  attack  was 
made.  The  life-blood  of  her  father  had  streamed 
down,  covering  her  face  and  clothes,  and  her  shoes 
were  literally  filled  with  the  blood  that  had  trickled 
from  the  mangled  body.  She  says  that  the  Indians 
saw  her,  and  looked  quite  sharply  at  her,  but  did  not 
offer  violence.  It  is  probable  that  she  is  mistaken 
about  this,  as  she  is  the  only  member  of  the  family 
uninjured,  and  from  the  displays  we  have  had  of  sav 
age  ferocity,  we  should  not  infer  that  they  would 
knowingly  spare  a  victim  in  their  power. 

In  another  part  of  the  wagon  lay  the  corpse  of  Mrs. 
Dustin,  the  grandmother  of  the  children.  An  arrow 
was  in  her  body  also,  and  her  head  was  hanging  over 
the  side  of  the  wagon,  her  long  hair  disheveled  and 
streaming  in  the  air,  filled  with  the  clotted  blood  that 
had  flowed  from  her  wounds. 

The  mother,  and  a  child  twelve  years  of  age,  were 
in  the  wagon,  still  alive,  but  so  badly  wounded  that 
no  hopes  are  entertained  of  their  recovery.  For  two 


301  THE   SIOUX   WAK  AND   MASSACRE. 

days  they  had  lain  and  suffered  beside  the  dead  bodies 
of  their  friends,  unable  to  procure  sustenance  or  as 
sistance.* 

Captain  Cody,  of  the  8th  regiment,  was  shot  dead 
while  gallantly  leading  a  small  squad  of  his  men  to 
rout  a  party  of  the  marauders  from  some  bushes 
where  they  lay  concealed. 

It  was  in  view  of  such  facts  that  Adjutant  General 
Malmros  offered  a  reward  for  every  Indian  killed,  and, 
with  characteristic  energy  and  zeal,  organized  a  band 
of  state  scouts  for  service  on  the  frontier.  Comment 
ing  on  his  order  for  this  corps,  one  of  the  editors  of 
the  St.  Paul  Press  wrote  as  follows : 

"While  General  Sibley's  army  is  moving  on,  with 
solemn  steps  and  slow,  like  a  terrific  Brobdignag,  to 
crush  the  Sioux  Lilliput  under  the  ponderous  heel  of 
strategy,  and  at  the  dignified  leisure  of  commissary 
trains,  his  nimble  adversary  is  crawling  through  his 
legs  and  running  all  around  him,  and  with  a  total  dis 
regard  of  military  science,  Hardee's  tactics,  lines  of 
defense,  and  all  that,  are  burrowing  the  country  be 
hind  him  with  deadly  ambuscades,  and  reviving  all 
the  terrors  of  Indian  warfare  along  our  whole  frontier. 

"  A  score  or  two  of  these  copper-faced  assassins, 
multiplying  themselves  by  the  swiftness  and  secrecy 
of  their  movements,  are  apparently  more  than  a  match 
for  our  whole  northwestern  army;  and  a  single  In 
dian,  lurking  in  the  grass,  safely  and  contemptuously 
defies  our  whole  system  of  garrisons  and  outposts  to 
stop  him  in  his  career  of  murder  and  mischief;  and 
the  humiliating  fact  stares  us  in  the  face,  that  after  all 
our  vast  and  elaborate  preparations  to  rid  the  state  of 

*  St.  Paul  Press. 


FOET  GABBY. 


DEATH   OF   LITTLE   CHOW.  307 

these  infernal  red  devils,  our  frontier  settlements,  ex 
cept  some  few  fortified  villages,  are  almost  as  defense- 
kss  against  the  peculiar  modes  of  Indian  warfare  as 
if  we  hadn't  a  single  military  guard  in  the  state. 

"The  state  authorities  have  at  last  come  to  the 
conclusion  that  there  is  no  sort  of  use  in  trying  to 
catch  this  sort  of  vermin  with  horse-rakes,  and  that 
henceforth  we  must  try  the  virtue  of  fine-tooth  combs. 
The  general  order  of  the  adjutant  general  for  a  corps 
of  scouts  is  intended  to  supply  the  inherent  defects  of 
the  regular  military  organizations,  and  to  follow  and 
hunt  Indians  wherever  they  can  find  them,  without 
regard  to  bases  of  supplies  or  the  necessities  of  a  reg 
ular  service." 

Little  Crow's  manner  at  St.  Joseph's  on  the  1st  of 
June,  in  speaking  of  his  foe,  was  haughty  and  defiant, 
and  he  said,  if  General  Sibley  desired  to  know  his 
whereabouts,  he  would  find  him  soon  at  Yellow  Med 
icine. 

On  Friday  evening,  July  3d,  as  Mr.  Lampson  and 
his  son  Chauncey  were  traveling  along  the  road,  six 
miles  north  of  Hutchinson,  they  discovered  two  In 
dians. 

The  ground  where  the  Indians  were  discovered  is  a 
little  prairie  opening  in  the  woods,  interspersed  with 
clumps  of  bushes  and  vines,  and  a  few  scattering  pop 
lars.  The  Indians  were  picking  berries,  and  did  not 
discover  the  Messrs.  L.  Concealing  themselves  imme 
diately,  Mr.  L.,  after  reflecting  a  moment  on  the  best 
course  to  be  pursued,  taking  advantage  of  the  cover 
offered  by  a  poplar  surrounded  with  bushes  and  vines, 
crept  quietly  forward  until  he  reached  the  tree. 
Steadying  his  gun  against  the  tree,  and  taking  delib- 


308  THE   SIOUX  WAR  AND   MASSACRE. 

erate  aim,  he  fired.  The  Indian  instantly  threw  back 
his  hands  with  a  yell,  and  fell  backward  to  the  ground, 
severely  wounded.  Not  knowing  how  many  Indians 
there  might  be,  Mr.  L.  thought  best  to  retreat  a  little, 
to  obtain  the  shelter  of  some  bushes.  In  doing  this, 
he  had  to  pass  over  a  little  knoll. 

The  wounded  Indian  crept  after  to  obtain  a  shot  at 
Mr.  L.,  who  was  still  partially  shielded  by  the  poplar- 
tree  and  vines.  In  crossing  the  little  knoll  just  re 
ferred  to,  Mr.  L.  was  obliged  to  expose  himself,  and 
both  Indians  and  Chauncey  L.  fired  simultaneously. 
Chauncey's  ball  instantly  killed  the  wounded  Indian  ; 
the  Indian's  ball  whistled  close  by  Chauncey's  cheek, 
while  a  buckshot  from  the  other  Indian's  gun  struck 
Mr.  L.  on  the  left  shoulder-blade,  making  a  flesh- 
wound  perhaps  two  inches  and  a  half  in  length.  The 
other  Indian  then  mounted  his  horse  and  rode  rapid 
ly  away.  Mr.  L.  dropped  when  the  shot  struck  him, 
and  Chauncey,  thinking  his  father  was  killed,  and  not 
knowing  how  many  Indians  there  might  be  around 
them,  and  having  no  more  ammunition,  his  father, 
who  was  at  some  distance  from  him,  having  the  am 
munition,  now  thought  it  best  to  retreat  and  give  the 
alarm. 

He  reached  Hutchinson  about  ten  o'clock  at  night 
with  the  exciting  news,  and  in  a  short  time  a  squad 
of  Company  E,  accompanied  by  a  number  of  the  citi 
zens,  were  marching  rapidly  toward  the  scene  of  the 
recent  conflict,  while  others  of  the  troops  and  citizens 
started  immediately  to  warn  the  citizens  of  Cedar  Set 
tlement  to  be  on  their  guard,  and  others  went  to  Lake 
Preston  for  a  squad  of  cavalry. 

But  we  must  now  return  to  Mr.  L.,  whom  we  left 


DEATH  OF   LITTLE   CROW.  309 

wounded  on  the  field.  Mr.  L.,  after  being  wounded, 
crawled  into  the  bushes,  and,  secreting  himself,  reload 
ed  his  gun,  drew  his  revolver,  and  waited  for  the  In 
dian  to  come  on.  Thus  he  waited  for  some  time. 
After  remaining  in  his  concealment  until  he  could 
profit  by  the  cover  of  coming  night,  he  laid  aside  his 
gun,  threw  off  his  white  shirt,  lest  it  might  lead  to  his 
discovery  by  prowling  Indians,  and,  after  a  circuitous 
and  toilsome  march,  reached  home  at  two  o'clock  on 
Saturday  morning.* 

The  detachment  of  cavalry  immediately  visited  the 
spot,  and  found  the  dead  body,  and  tore  off  the  scalp. 
The  Indian  was  above  the  medium  height,  and  be 
tween  fifty  and  sixty  years  of  age.  His  hair  was 
sprinkled  with  gray ;  his  front  teeth  were  double,  like 
the  back  ones,  and  both  arms  were  deformed ;  the 
bones  of  the  right  arm  had  been  broken  and  never 
set,  which  precluded  the  use  of  the  hand,  and  the  oth 
er  arm  was  withered. 

The  body  was  carried  to  Hutchinson,  and  formed 
the  centre  of  attraction  for  several  hours.  It  was  then 
carried  a  little  distance  below  the  village,  and  thrown 
into  a  pit  used  as  a  receptacle  for  the  bones  and  offal 
of  slaughtered  cattle.  About  a  week  afterward  the 
head  was  pushed  off  with  a  stick,  and  left  lying  on 
the  prairie  for  several  days,  the  brains  oozing  out  in 
the  broiling  sun.  It  was  afterward  picked  up  and 
deposited  in  a  kettle  of  lime  preparatory  to  a  process 
to  render  it  suitable  for  a  place  in  the  rooms  of  the 
Historical  Society,  and  the  body  was  thrown  into  the 
river,  to  remain  until  the  flesh  sloughed  off,  and  the 
bones  were  in  a  condition  for  preservation. 

*  Correspondence  of  the  St.  Paul  Press. 


310  THE   SIOUX  WAR  AND   MASSACKE. 

The  remains  thus  unceremoniously  treated  were 
those  of  the  foremost  hunter  and  orator  among  the 
Sioux.  He  was  one  who  had  been  forced  into  the 
war  by  circumstances  against  his  own  better  judg 
ment  and  desires,  yet  who  did  not  slink  from  respon 
sibility  by  a  cowardly  denial  of  the  part  he  had  taken , 
but  boldly  classed  himself  among  the  worst,  and  justi 
fied  their  acts  even  when  fortune  pressed  him  sorest, 
saying  in  his  letter  to  Sibley,  "  If  the  young  braves 
have  pushed  the  whites,  I  have  done  it  myself."  The 
remains  were  those  of  Tah-o-ah-ta-doo-ta  (his  scarlet 
people),  or  Little  Crow,*  who  had  made  his  promise 
to  return  to  the  settlements  good,  and  died  in  the  land 
of  his  fathers  before  the  extermination  of  his  race,  fol 
lowing  up  his  foe  like  a  warrior  and  brave  of  the  Da 
kota. 

The  Indian  who  escaped  was  his  son  Wa-wi-nap-a 
(one  who  appeareth).  He  was  picked  up  by  a  party 
of  soldiers  nearly  a  month  after,  in  a  half  starved  con 
dition,  near  Devil's  Lake.  This  is  the  statement  which 
"Wa-wi-nap-a  made  in  reference  to  his  father,  and  the 
manner  of  his  death,  and  his  own  flight: 

"  I  am  the  son  of  Little  Crow ;  my  name  is  Wa-wi- 
nap-a  ,  I  am  sixteen  years  old ;  my  father  had  two 
wives  before  he  took  my  mother;  the  first  one  had 
one  son,  the  second  a  son  and  daughter ;  the  third 
wife  was  my  mother.  After  taking  my  mother  he 
put  away  the  first  two ;  he  had  seven  children  by  my 

*  Little  Crow  was  a  nickname  bestowed  upon  the  chief's  grand 
father  by  the  Chippe\vays  from  wearing  a  crow's  skin  upon  his  breast, 
and  the  name  descended  to  his  grandson.  Little  Crow  formerly  lived 
at  Kaposia,  four  miles  below  St.  Paul,  and  his  band  was  called  the 
Lightfoot  Band. 


DEATH   OF   LITTLE   CKOW.  311 

mother ;  six  are  dead ;  I  am  the  only  one  living  now : 
the  fourth  wife  had  four  children  born ;  do  not  know 
whether  any  died  or  not;  two  were  boys  and  two 
were  girls  :  the  fifth  wife  had  five  children ;  three  of 
them  are  dead,  two  are  living:  the  sixth  wife  had 
three  children ;  all  of  them  are  dead ;  the  eldest  was 
a  boy,  the  other  two  were  girls :  the  last  four  wives 
were  sisters. 

"  Father  went  to  St.  Joseph  last  spring.  "When  we 
were  coming  back  he  said  he  could  not  fight  the  white 
men,  but  would  go  below  and  steal  horses  from  them 
and  give  them  to  his  children,  so  that  they  could  be 
comfortable,  and  then  he  would  go  away  off. 

"  Father  also  told  me  that  he  was  getting  old,  and 
wanted  me  to  go  with  him  to  carry  his  bundles.  He 
left  his  wives  and  other  children  behind.  There  were 
sixteen  men  and  one  squaw  in  the  party  that  went 
below  with  us.  We  had  no  horses,  but  walked  all 
the  way  down  to  the  settlements.  Father  and  I  were 
picking  red  berries  near  '  Scattered  Lake'  at  the  time 
he  was  shot.  It  was  near  night.  He  was  hit  the  first 
time  in  the  side,  just  above  the  hip.  His  gun  and 
mine  were  lying  on  the  ground.  He  took  up  my  gun 
and  fired  it  first,  and  then  fired  his  own.  He  was  shot 
the  second  time  when  he  was  firing  his  own  gun. 
The  ball  struck  the  stock  of  his  gun,  and  then  hit  him 
in  the  side,  near  the  shoulder.  This  was  the  shot  that 
killed  him.  He  told  me  that  he  was  killed,  and  asked 
me  for  water,  which  I  gave  him.  He  died  immedi 
ately  after.  When  I  heard  the  first  shot  fired,  I  lay 
down,  and  the  man  did  not  see  me  before  father  was 
killed. 

"  A  short  time  before  father  was  killed,  an  Indian 


312  THE   SIOUX  WAR  AND  MASSACRE. 

named  Hi-u-ka,  who  married  the  daughter  of  my  fa 
ther's  second  wife,  came  to  him.  He  had  a  horse  with 
him — also  a  gray-colored  coat  that  he  had  taken  from 
a  man  that  he  had  killed  to  the  north  of  where  father 
was  killed.  He  gave  the  coat  to  father,  telling  him 
he  might  need  it  when  it  rained,  as  he  had  no  coat 
with  him.  Hi-u-ka  said  he  had  a  horse  now,  and  was 
going  back  to  the  Indian  country. 

"  The  Indians  that  went  down  with  us  separated. 
Eight  of  them  and  the  squaw  went  north,  the  other 
eight  went  farther  down.  I  have  not  seen  any  of  them 
since  after  father  was  killed.  I  took  both  guns  and 
the  ammunition,  and  started  to  go  to  Devil's  Lake, 
where  I  expected  to  find  some  of  my  friends.  When 
I  got  to  Beaver  Creek  I  saw  the  tracks  of  two  Indians, 
and  at  Standing  Buffalo's  village  saw  where  the  eight 
Indians  that  had  gone  north  had  crossed. 

"  I  carried  both  guns  as  far  as  the  Cheyenne  Biver, 
where  I  saw  two  men.  I  was  scared,  and  threw  my 
gun  and  the  ammunition  down.  After  that  I  traveled 
only  in  the  night,  and  as  I  had  no  ammunition  to  kill 
any  thing  to  eat,  I  had  not  strength  enough  to  travel 
fast.  I  went  on  until  I  arrived  near  Devil's  Lake, 
when  I  staid  in  one  place  three  days,  being  so  weak 
and  hungry  that  I  could  go  no  farther.  I  had  picked 
up  a  cartridge  near  Big  Stone  Lake,  which  I  still  had 
with  me,  and  loaded  father's  gun  with  it,  cutting  the 
ball  into  slugs ;  with  this  charge  I  shot  a  wolf;  ate 
some  of  it,  which  gave  me  strength  to  travel,  and  I 
went  on  up  the  lake  until  the  day  I  was  captured, 
which  was  twenty-six  days  from  the  day  my  father 
was  killed." 


ADVENTURE  OF  BRACKETT  AND  FREEMAN.  313 


CHAPTER  XX. 

THRILLING  AND   FATAL  ADVENTURE   OF   MESSRS. 
BRACKETT   AND   FREEMAN. 

ON  the  morning  of  July  20th,  General  Sibley,  leav 
ing  a  portion  of  his  forces  at  Camp  Atcheson,  near 
Devil's  Lake,  pushed  on  toward  the  Missouri  Couteau 
with  1400  infantry  and  500  cavalry.  On  the  fourth 
day,  two  members  of  the  expedition,  unsuspicious  of 
danger,  strayed  away  from  the  column.  The  excit 
ing  adventure  which  they  met  with  is  detailed  by  Mr. 
Brackett,  the  survivor,  as  follows : 

"  We  left  camp  on  the  24th  at  the  usual  time,  about 
five  o'clock  A.M.,  the  first  battalion  Minnesota  Mount 
ed  Rangers  in  the  rear.  Lieutenant  Ambrose  Free 
man,  Company  D,  said  to  me  several  times  that  when 
ever  I  had  a  chance  to  go  to  the  flank,  he  wanted  to 
go  with  me.  Soon  as  I  had  my  cattle  started,  I  went 
to  Captain  Taylor,  and  told  him  if  he  could  spare  Cap 
tain  Freeman,  we  wanted  to  go  out  on  the  flank  a  lit 
tle  way.  I  left  the  main  column  about  two  miles  out 
from  camp,  struck  off  to  the  left,  and  went  on  to  a 
range  of  hills  which  was  estimated  to  be  about  five 
miles  from  the  main  column.  Saw  three  scouts  out 
about  the  same  distance.  After  getting  there  we 
struck  a  parallel  course,  and  supposed  we  were  going 
in  the  same  direction  as  the  main  body.  We  watered 
our  horses  in  a  lake.  Saw  two  other  scouts  on  the 
opposite  side  of  the  lake.  We  then  went  still  farther 

0 


314  THE  SIOUX  WAR  AND   MASSACRE. 

on,  over  one  range  of  bluffs,  probably  about  three 
quarters  of  a  mile.  We  followed  along  parallel,  or 
perhaps  a  little  to  the  left  of  the  main  body,  a  dis 
tance  of  three  miles. 

"Lieutenant  Freeman  saw  three  antelope,  an  old 
and  two  young  ones.  We  fired  and  wounded  the  old 
one.  She  then  made  off,  I  had  the  lieutenant's  horse, 
and  he  followed  her  on  foot,  which  took  us  off  our 
course  some  way  round  the  bluffs.  We  got  into  a  sec 
tion  of  country  by  a  large  lake,  and  succeeded  in  kill 
ing  the  antelope  near  the  lake. 

"As  we  were  coming  down  toward  the  lake,  and 
while  the  lieutenant  was  creeping  up  toward  the  ante 
lope,  I  saw  some  scouts  on  the  opposite  side  of  the 
lake,  the  train  in  sight  on  the  side  hill  several  miles 
distant.  Instead  of  taking  our  course  back,  we  had  a 
curiosity  to  go  around  the  lake  to  where  we  saw  the 
scouts.  We  saw  cherry-bushes  newly  cut  and  piled 
up.  I  set  out  to  tear  them  down.  Lieutenant  Free 
man  persisted  in  saying  they  were  Indian  signs,  and 
Indians  were  there.  We  cocked  our  rifles,  and  made 
around  the  bushes,  so  as  not  to  put  ourselves  in  a  too 
exposed  condition.  We  then  took  our  course,  as  we 
supposed,  toward  the  train,  or  where  the  train  had 
passed. 

"  Between  one  and  two  o'clock  we  discovered  three 
objects  a  long  distance  off,  between  us  and  the  train's 
course,  and  making  toward  the  train.  This  action,  as 
soon  as  we  came  near  enough  to  judge,  convinced  us 
that  they  were  Indians.  Yet  we  still  kept  toward 
them,  and  they  were  making  preparations  to  meet  us, 
one  leading  and  the  other  two  riding  their  horses.  We 
got  all  ready  to  give  them  a  trial,  they  creeping  around 


ADVENTURE  OF  BRACKETT  AND  FREEMAN.  315 

on  one  side  of  the  bluff,  and  we  creeping  around  to 
meet  them.  I  saw  one  raise.  He  had  a  straw  hat  on, 
and  I  recognized  him  as  one  of  our  scouts.  He  beck 
oned  us  to  come  toward  him.  From  all  the  descrip 
tion  that  I  had  of  him,  I  supposed  him  to  be  '  Chaska ;' 
the  other  two  were  full-blooded  Sioux.  Both  had 
government  horses,  and  armed,  one  with  a  Springfield 
rifle,  the  other  with  a  carbine.  I  asked  him  where 
General  Sibley  was.  They  pointed  to  a  hill,  I  should 
judge,  three  miles  distant  from  where  we  stood,  in  the 
direction  where  the  train  passed. 

"  I  saw  a  large  number  of  men  on  a  bluff,  judged  to 
be  about  two  hundred  in  number,  whom  I  supposed 
to  be  General  Sibley's  men  (in  camp),  looking  upon 
us.  We  all  at  once  started  direct  for  them.  About 
the  time  we  started  we  saw  what  we  supposed  to  be  a 
guard  of  cavalry  start  toward  us.  After  we  started 
the  scouts  turned  to  a  little  lake  to  water  their  horses ; 
ours  being  previously  watered,  we  did  not  go  with 
them.  We  still  saw  the  cavalry  (as  we  supposed) 
coming,  about  fifteen  in  number. 

"  I  remarked  to  Lieutenant  Freeman  that  they  must 
have  turned  back,  as  they  had  disappeared  and  were 
out  of  sight.  We  were  soon  surprised  by  seeing  fif 
teen  Indians  charging  upon  us  with  a  flag  of  truce. 
As  we  whirled,  they  fired  a  volley  upon  us.  I  yelled 
to  the  scouts  that  they  were  Indians.  I  remarked  to 
Lieutenant  Freeman  that  we  had  better  put  for  the 
scouts.  When  we  got  within  twenty  or  twenty -five 
rods  of  the  scouts,  we  were  riding  about  three  rods 
apart.  One  Indian  rode  up  to  Lieutenant  Freeman 
and  put  an  arrow  through  his  back,  on  the  left  side, 
and  at  the  same  time  another  Indian  dismounted  and 


316  THE   SIOUX  WAK  AND   MASSACRE. 

discharged  his  gun  at  me.  I  laid  low  on  my  horse's 
neck,  as  close  as  I  possibly  could,  and  '  Chaska'  stepped 
up  to  the  top  of  a  knoll  and  fired  once  at  the  Indian 
who  fired  at  me.  As  Lieutenant  Freeman  dropped 
from  his  horse,  I  asked  him  if  he  was  hurt.  He  re 
plied,  */  am  gone'  He  wished  me  to  cut  a  piece  of 
string  which  was  around  his  neck,  and  supported  a 
part  of  the  antelope  which  he  was  carrying.  As  I  cut 
the  string  he  changed  his  position  more  on  his  side, 
and  rested  more  up-hill.  He  asked  faintly  for  water. 
The  scouts  had  then  mounted  their  horses  and  left  us. 
The  Indians  were  then  all  around  us,  one  at  the  side 
of  the  lake.  As  the  scouts  ran  toward  them  they  fell 
back.  I  then  took  Lieutenant  Freeman's  rifle  and  re 
volver  and  followed  the  scouts.  Lieutenant  Freeman, 
to  all  appearance,  was  dead.  The  Indian  mentioned, 
seeing  the  lieutenant's  horse,  which  followed  me,  left 
us  and  broke  for  the  horse.  In  that  way  it  allowed 
me  to  overtake  the  scouts.  He  succeeded  in  catching 
the  horse.  Then  the  whole  crowd  started  after  us 
again.  We  rode  about  four  miles,  when  we  were  sur 
rounded  by  them  again  by  the  side  of  a  little  marsh. 
We  all  jumped  off  our  horses.  The  scouts  made  mo 
tions  and  ran  up  to  meet  them,  and  '  Chaska'  motion 
ed  for  me  to  jump  into  the  tall  rushes  on  the  marsh. 
I  saw  nothing  more  of  the  scouts.  The  Indians  all 
rushed  down  to  where  the  horses  were.  I  cocked  my 
rifle,  and  lay  in  the  rushes  within  ten  feet  of  them. 
They  got  into  a  wrangle  about  the  horses.  They  pres 
ently  started  off,  I  suppose  from  fear  of  being  over 
taken  by  our  forces,  taking  a  course  around  the  marsh. 
I  lay  there  about  an  hour.  By  accident  in  putting- 
down  the  hammer  of  my  rifle,  it  went  off.  This  was 


ADVENTURE  OF  BRACKETT  AND  FREEMAN.  317 

about  three  P.M.  There  was  a  shower.  After  it  clear 
ed  off  I  immediately  started  a  course  with  the  sun  at 
my  back,  and  traveled  two  hours.  I  followed  this  di 
rection  two  days,  stopping  in  marshes  during  the  night 
time.  I  struck  a  river  at  night  of  the  second  day.  It 
was  clear  water,  running  in  a  southerly  direction,  and 
a  quarter  of  a  mile  in  width. 

"  Next  morning  I  struck  from  there  due  south,  and 
traveled  that  day  until  almost  night;  then  took  a 
westerly  course,  concluding  that  the  trail  was  not  in 
that  direction;  traveled  a  little  north  of  west,  and 
struck  General  Sibley's  trail  the  afternoon  of  the  third 
day,  about  twelve  miles  from  where  we  camped  the 
night  before  I  left  the  main  column,  and  made  the 
camp  that  night.  I  started  next  morning  for  Camp 
Atcheson,  and  made  it  in  two  days.  Arrived  here 
the  second  night,  between  eight  and  nine  o'clock,  mak 
ing  the  distance  of  the  four  camps  in  two  days — bare 
headed,  barefooted,  and  without  a  coat.  I  was  obliged 
to  leave  my  rifle  on  the  last  day  of  my  travel,  not  hav 
ing  sufficient  strength  to  carry  it  any  farther. 

"About  ten  miles  before  reaching  Camp  Atcheson 
I  sat  down  to  rest,  and  had  such  difficulty  in  getting 
under  way  again  that  I  determined  to  stop  no  more, 
feeling  sure  that  once  again  down  I  should  never  be 
able  to  regain  my  feet  unaided.  I  entered  the  camp 
near  the  camp-fire  of  a  detachment  of  the  '  Pioneers' 
(Captain  Chase's  company  of  the  9th  Minnesota  In 
fantry),  and  fell  to  the  ground,  unable  to  rise  again. 
But,  thank  Grod !  around  that  fire  were  sitting  some 
St.  Anthony  friends,  among  whom  were  Messrs. 
M' Mullen  and  Whittier,  attached  to  that  company, 
who  kindly  picked  me  up  and  carried  me  to  my  tent. 


318  THE  SIOUX  WAR  AND  MASSACRE. 

"  I  lost  my  coat,  hat,  and  knife  in  the  fight  on  the 
first  day.  I  took  Lieutenant  Freeman's  knife,  and 
with  it  made  moccasins  of  my  boot-legs,  my  boots  so 
chafing  my  feet  in  walking  that  I  could  not  wear 
them.  These  moccasins  were  constantly  getting  out 
of  repair,  and  my  knife  was  as  much  needed  to  keep 
them  in  order  for  use  as  to  make  them  in  the  first 
place.  But  just  before  reaching  the  trail  of  the  expe 
dition  on  the  fifth  day  I  lost  Lieutenant  Freeman's 
knife.  This  loss,  I  felt  at  the  time,  decided  my  fate, 
if  I  had  much  farther  to  go ;  but  kind  Providence  was 
in  my  favor,  for  almost  the  first  object  that  greeted 
my  eyes  upon  reaching  the  trail  was  a  knife,  old  and 
worn  to  be  sure,  but  priceless  to  me.  This  incident 
some  may  deem  a  mere  accident ;  but  let  such  a  one 
be  placed  in  my  situation  at  that  time,  and  he  would 
feel  with,  me  that  it  was  a  boon  granted  by  the  Great 
Giver  of  good.  On  the  third  day,  about  ten  miles 
from  the  river  spoken  of,  I  left  Lieutenant  Freeman's 
rifle  on  the  prairie,  becoming  too  weak  to  carry  it 
longer;  besides,  it  had  already  been  so  damaged  by 
rain  that  I  could  not  use  it.  I  wrote  upon  it  that 
Lieutenant  Freeman  had  been  killed,  and  named  the 
course  I  was  then  pursuing.  I  brought  the  pistol  into 
Camp  Atcheson. 

"While  wandering  I  lived  on  cherries,  roots,  birds' 
eggs,  young  birds,  and  frogs,  caught  by  hand,  all  my 
ammunition  but  one  cartridge  having  spoiled  by  the 
rain  on  the  first  day.  That  cartridge  was  one  for 
Smith's  breech-loading  carbine,  and  had  a  gutta-per 
cha  case.  I  had  also  some  water-proof  percussion 
caps  in  my  porte-monnaie.  I  took  one  half  the  pow 
der  in  the  cartridge  and  a  percussion  cap,  and  with 


ADVENTURE  OF  BRACKETT  AND  FREEMAN.  319 

the  pistol  and  some  dry  grass  started  a  nice  fire,  at 
which  I  cooked  a  young  bird,  something  like  a  loon, 
and  about  the  size.  This  was  on  the  second  night. 
On  the  fourth  I  used  the  remainder  of  the  cartridge 
in  the  same  way  and  for  a  like  purpose.  The  rest  of 
the  time  I  ate  my  food  uncooked,  except  some  hard 
bread  (found  at  the  fourth  camp  mentioned  above), 
which  had  been  fried  and  then  thrown  into  the  ashes. 
I  have  forgotten  one  sweet  morsel  (and  all  were  sweet 
and  very  palatable  to  me),  viz.,  some  sinews  spared  by 
the  wolves  from  a  buffalo  carcass.  As  near  as  I  am 
able  to  judge,  I  traveled  in  the  seven  days  at  least  two 
hundred  miles.  I  had  ample  means  for  a  like  journey 
in  civilized  localities,  but  for  the  first  time  in  my  life 
found  gold  and  silver  coin  a  useless  thing.  My  boot 
leg  moccasins  saved  me ;  for  a  walk  of  ten  miles  upon 
such  a  prairie,  barefooted,  would  stop  all  farther  prog 
ress  of  any  person  accustomed  to  wear  covering  upon 
the  feet.  The  exposure  at  night,  caused  more  partic 
ularly  by  lying  in  low  and  wet  places  in  order  to  hide 
myself,  was  more  prostrating  to  me  than  scarcity  of 
food.  The  loneliness  of  the  prairies  would  have  been 
terrible  in  itself  but  for  the  drove  of  wolves  that,  after 
the  first  day,  hovered,  in  the  daytime,  at  a  respectful 
distance,  and  in  the  night  howled  closely  around  me, 
seemingly  sure  that  my  failing  strength  would  soon 
render  me  an  easy  prey.  But  a  merciful  Providence 
has  spared  my  life  by  what  seems  now,  even  to  my 
self,  almost  a  miracle." 

The  body  of  Lieutenant  Freeman  was  afterward 
found  by  members  of  General  Sibley's  main  force  and 
buried.  An  arrow  had  pierced  his  breast,  and  the 
tomahawk  and  scalping-knife  had  left  bloody  traces 


320 


THE   SIOUX   WAR  AND   MASSACRE. 


,-ibout  his  head.*  They  buried  him  011  the  desolate 
plain,  five  hundred  miles  away  from  the  loved  wife 
and  children  who  bemoan  his  sad  and  untimely  fate. 

*  Correspondence  of  the  Pioneer  and  Democrat. 


THE  BATTLES  ON  THE   MISSOURI.  321 


CHAPTER  XXI. 

THE    BATTLES    ON    THE    MISSOURI. 

THE  BATTLE  OF  THE  BIG  MOUND. 

"  ON  the  24th  of  July,  about  one  o'clock,  as  the  ex 
pedition  under  General  Sibley  was  moving  along  the 
western  base  of  a  great  hill  or  ridge  of  the  Couteau 
Missouri,  scouts  who  were  in  the  advance  returned 
with  the  report  that  the  force  was  in  the  immediate 
vicinity  of  a  large  camp  of  Indians.  Other  scouts 
came  who  had  seen  the  Indians,  and  believed  them  to 
be  preparing  in  great  numbers  for  battle;  that  they 
were  then  collecting  in  the  rocky  ravines  and  behind 
the  ridges  of  the  great  hill.  Soon  the  Indians  were 
seen  on  the  Big  Mound,  the  highest  peak  of  the  hill. 
The  train  was  turned  off  to  the  right  a  little  way,  and 
corraled  on  a  salt  lake. 

"  Details  of  men  were  made  to  throw  up  intrench- 
ments,  so  that  a  small  number  of  men  could  defend 
the  train  and  camp  while  the  main  force  should  be 
engaged  elsewhere.  The  camp  was  encircled  by  the 
several  regiments,  with  the  artillery  placed  at  inter 
vals  between.  The  Big  Mound  was  directly  east  of 
camp,  a  mile  and  a  quarter  distant;  a  succession  of 
hills,  or  the  broken  side  of  the  big  hill,  rising  from 
the  camp  to  the  Big  Mound.  There  was  a  ravine  di 
rectly  east  of  camp  which  extended  nearly  to  the  Big- 
Mound. 

"The  6th  regiment  was  placed  on  the  north  side 
O  2 


322  THE  SIOUX  WAR  AND   MASSACRE. 

of  the  corral,  its  left  resting  on  the  lake;  the  10th 
regiment  next  to  the  6th,  fronting  northeast,  and  to 
the  left  of  the  ravine ;  the  7th  regiment  on  the  right 
of  the  10th,  fronting  east  and  southeast  on  the  ravine; 
the  cavalry  on  the  south  side  of  the  camp,  with  its 
right  flank  on  the  lake. 

"  These  dispositions  had  hardly  been  made  before 
the  report  of  fire-arms  was  heard  on  the  hill  directly 
in  front  of  the  7th  regiment.  Some  of  the  scouts  had 
gone  part  way  up  the  hill,  and  were  talking  with  the 
Indians.  Dr.  Weiser,  surgeon  of  the  Mounted  Ean- 
gers,  joined  them,  and  shook  hands  with  one  or  two 
Indians  whom  he  had  probably  known  at  Shakopee. 
One  Indian  advanced  and  shot  him  through  the  heart. 
He  fell  and  died  without  speaking  a  word.  The  scouts 
fired,  and  the  Indians  fell  back  behind  the  ridge,  re 
turning  the  fire,  one  shot  taking  effect  upon  scout 
Solon  Stevens,  of  Mankato.  It  proved  to  be  but  a 
slight  wound  in  the  hip.  The  ball  had  first  passed 
through  his  rubber  blanket,  which- was  rolled  up  on 
his  saddle.  An  ambulance  was  promptly  sent  out, 
which  met  the  body  of  Dr.  Weiser  being  brought  in 
on  a  horse. 

"The  first  battalion  of  cavalry — Captain  Taylor, 
Wilson,  and  Anderson's  companies — was  promptly 
ordered  to  the  scene  of  Dr.  Weiser's  death,  where  the 
scouts  were  skirmishing  with  the  Indians.  They  found 
the  ground  so  broken  that  they  dismounted  and  sent 
their  horses  back  to  camp.  Major  Bradley,  with  Cap 
tains  Stevens  and  Gilfillan's  companies  of  the  7th,  were 
ordered  to  the  support  of  the  cavalry.  The  gener 
al,  with  a  6-pounder,  advanced  to  a  hill  on  the  left 
of  the  ravine,  and  began  to  shell  the  Indians  at  the 


THE   BATTLES   OF  THE   MISSOURI.  323 

head  of  the  ravine  and  about  the  Big  Mound.  Cap 
tain  Edgerton's  company  of  the  10th  supported  the 
6-pounder. 

"  The  6th  regiment  was  deployed  on  the  foot-hills 
in  front  of  its  line,  to  the  north  and  northeast  of  camp, 
Captain  Banks's  company  of  the  7th  on  the  right  of 
the  6th  regiment.  Lieutenant  Colonel  Marshall,  with 
the  remaining  five  companies  of  the  7th  regiment, 
Captains  Kennedy, Williston,  Hall,  Carter,  and  Arnold, 
advanced  up  the  ravine  toward  the  Big  Mound,  and 
deployed  on  the  left  of  the  dismounted  cavalry  and 
Major  Bradley 's  line. 

"The  artillery,  under  the  immediate  direction  of 
the  general,  drove  the  Indians  out  from  the  head  of 
the  ravine  and  from  about  the  Big  Mound.  They  fell 
back  to  the  table-land  east  of  the  mound,  and  into  the 
broken  ridges  and  ravines  southward.  They  had  come 
from  that  quarter,  their  camp  being  formed  around  the 
hill  about  five  miles  ahead. 

"The  shelling  they  received  near  the  Big  Mound 
prevented  their  getting  around  to  the  northward  in 
any  considerable  numbers.  They  were  massed  on  the 
broken  ground  to  the  south  of  the  mound. 

"The  line  of  the  7th  regiment  and  the  three  com 
panies  of  cavalry  named  advanced  steadily  and  rapid 
ly,  pouring  a  constant  fire  into  the  Indians,  which 
reached  them  before^their  shorter  range  guns  could 
have  any  effect  on  our  troops.  The  left  of  the  7th 
crossed  the  summit  range  just  to  the  right  of  the 
mound,  and,  flanking  the  right  of  the  Indians,  swept 
around  to  the  southward,  and  pursued  them  through 
the  ridges  and  ravines  on  the  east  of  the  range,  while 
Major  Bradley,  and  Captains  Taylor  and  Anderson, 


324:  THE   SIOUX  WAR  AND   MASSACKE. 

pressed  them  hotly  on  the  west  side.  Captain  Wil 
son,  of  the  cavalry,  crossed  to  the  right  of  the  mound, 
and  pursued  some  Indians  that  separated  from  the 
main  body  and  retreated  more  directly  eastward. 

"  The  Indians  were  thus  pursued  three  or  four  miles, 
and  until  they  were  completely  dislodged  and  driven 
from  the  hills  to  a  broad  plain  southward.  They 
would  try  to  hold  ridge  after  ridge,  and  to  cover  them 
selves  in  the  ravines,  but  the  better  weapons  of  the 
whites  were  too  much  for  them.  They  were  sparing 
of  ammunition,  and  probably  not  over  half  had  fire 
arms.  Their  number  exceeded  a  thousand  warriors. 

"As  they  were  precipitately  retreating  down  the 
ravines,  toward  the  plain,  after  the  last  stand,  two 
companies  of  cavalry,  Captain  Austin's  and  Lieutenant 
Barton's,  under  the  immediate  command  of  Colonel 
M'Phaill,  took  the  advance  and  charged  the  Indians, 
doing  execution.  Corporal  Hazlep  was  shot  in  the 
shoulder  by  an  Indian  he  was  riding  on  to.  Colonel 
M'Phaill  thrust  his  sabre  through  the  Indian.  It  was 
here  that  a  stroke  of  lightning  killed  Private  John 
Murphy,  of  Company  B,  and  his  horse,  and  stunned 
another  cavalryman.  Colonel  M 'Phalli's  grasp  was 
loosened  on  his  sword  by  the  shock.  He  thought 
a  shell  had  fallen  among  them.  This  momentarily 
checked  the  charge  and  rendered  it  less  effective,  the 
Indians  getting  out  on  the  plain^where  their  immense 
numbers  deterred  any  farther  charge  until  the  cavalr}r 
could  be  re-enforced. 

"Lieutenant  Colonel  Marshall  had  left  his  line  for 
a  moment,  and,  taking  care  of  Colonel  M 'Phalli's  right 
flank,  charged  down  the  hill  with  the  Bangers.  In 
an  effort  to  cut  off  some  Indians  to  the  right,  he  got 


THE   BATTLES   ON   THE   MISSOURI.  325 

into  rather  close  quarters  with  some  of  them.  The 
thunder-stroke  checked  the  cavalrymen  that  he 
thought  were  following  him  in  the  dash.  He  wheeled 
his  horse  in  time  to  avoid  a  single-handed  encounter 
with  a  dozen  warriors. 

"  While  the  dismounted  companies  of  cavalry  were 
getting  their  horses  from  camp,  and  Captains  Kubles, 
Davey,  and  Lieutenant  Johnson's  companies,  that  had 
been  on  the  right  of  the  hill  with  Major  Bradley,  were 
being  formed  for  the  pursuit,  the  Indians  had  got  three 
or  four  miles  away.  Their  families  had  been  started 
ahead,  and  the  warriors  were  covering  the  rear  of  the 
train.  The  cavalry  pursued,  and  the  7th  regiment 
followed  on.  Lieutenant  Whipple's  section  of  the 
battery  was  sent  forward,  and  Company  B,  of  the  10th, 
to  support  it.  The  cavalry  reached  the  Indians  before 
dark,  and  made  five  successive  charges  on  their  rear, 
killing  a  great  number.  The  battery  and  the  7th  reg 
iment  were  not  up  in  time  to  take  a  hand. 

"The  Indians  fought  desperately.  One  stalwart 
warrior,  with  an  American  flag  wrapped  around  him 
theatrically,  fired  twice  while  the  cavalry  were  within 
twenty  rods  charging  upon  him,  his  balls  taking  effect 
in  the  overcoat  and  saddle  of  Private  Green,  and  rub 
ber  blanket  of  Carlson,  of  Company  F.  The  Indian 
got  the  powder  down,  but  not  the  ball,  for  the  third 
load,  which  he  discharged  at  the  breast  of  Archy 
M'Kee,  of  Company  F,  of  course  without  effect.  He 
then  clubbed  his  gun  and  struck  Carlson,  nearly  un 
horsing  him.  A  dozen  carbine  balls  were  put  into 
him,  and  then  he  had  to  be  sabred  to  finish  him. 

"  Gustaf  Stark,  of  Company  B,  was  killed  in  one  of 
these  charges,  and  Andrew  Moore  dangerously,  if  not 
mortall  wounded. 


326  THE   SIOUX  WAR  AND   MASSACRE. 

"  The  cavalry  boys  took  twenty-one  scalps  in  this 
charge. 

"Colonel  M'Phaill  had  told  them  that  it  was  very 
barbarous  to  take  scalps,  but  that  he  wouldn't  believe 
any  man  had  killed  an  Indian  unless  he  showed  the 
hair,  and  enough  of  it,  so  that  two  locks  couldn't  be 
taken  from  the  same  head.* 

"  The  trail  of  the  Indians  was  strewed  with  tons  of 
dried  buffalo  meat,  pemmican,  robes,  and  undressed 
buffalo  skins,  besides  camp  furniture.  It  was  a  wild 
flight,  in  which  they  abandoned  every  thing  that  im 
peded  them.  Much  of  this  stuff  they  left  in  camp. 

"The  7th  regiment,  with  Company  B  of  the  10th, 
had  reached  a  point  ten  or  twelve  miles  from  camp, 
the  artillery  a  point  farther  advanced,  while  Colonel 
M'Phaill  was  engaged  fifteen  miles  from  camp.  Dark 
ness  came  on,  and  Colonel  Marshall  ordered  a  bivouac 
of  his  men  and  Captain  Edgerton's  company  of  the 
10th.  Guards  were  posted,  and  the  exhausted  men 
had  lain  down  to  sleep,  when  Colonel  M'Phaill  return 
ed  on  his  way  to  camp,  having  received  an  order  not 
to  pursue  after  dark,  and — mistakenly  delivered — to 
return  to  camp.  The  general  intended  to  leave  it  dis 
cretionary  with  Colonel  M'Phaill  to  bivouac  or  return 
to  camp  accordingly  as  he  might  have  got  many  miles 

*  In  all  Indian  wars  the  whites  have  taken  scalps. 

The  Massachusetts  government  paid  from  fifteen  to  two  hundred 
pounds  for  every  scalp.  Hannah  Dustin,  her  boy,  and  a  nurse,  of 
Haverhill,  killed  and  scalped  ten  of  their  Indian  captors  on  an  island 
in  the  Merrimac,  and  escaped  with  a  bag  full  of  their  bloody  trophies. 
In  the  Black  Hawk  war  the  United  States  paid  the  Sioux  a  reward 
for  every  Sauk  and  Fox  scalp  taken.  This  mutilation  was  not  adopt 
ed  as  retaliation,  but  to  obtain  the  infallible  evidence  of  the  death  of 
the  murderers. 


THE   BATTLES   ON  THE   MISSOUEI.  327 

away  or  be  near  to  camp.  The  infantry  joined  the 
cavalry  and  artillery,  and  marched  until  daylight  the 
next  morning  before  reaching  camp,  having  been 
twenty-four  hours  marching  or  fighting,  and  since  ten 
o'clock  in  the  morning  without  water. 

"The  general  was  just  ready  to  leave  camp  with 
the  other  forces,  but  the  exhausted  condition  of  the 
men  and  cavalry  horses  that  had  been  out  all  night 
precluded  the  march  that  day.  This  unfortunate  mis 
take  delayed  the  pursuit  two  days,  for  it  required  the 
next  day's  march,  the  26th,  to  reach  the  point  of  the 
cavalry  fight  of  the  night  of  the  24th." 

THE  BATTLE  OF  DEAD  BUFFALO  LAKE. 

"  Camp  was  moved  on  the  25th  three  miles,  on  to 
the  great  hill  where  a  pond  of  fresh  water  and  grass 
was  found.  Murphy's  and  Stark's  bodies  were  buried 
at  Camp  Sibley,  below  the  hill ;  Dr.  Weiser's  was 
buried  at  Camp  Whitney,  on  the  hill. 

"  The  march  was  resumed  on  the  26th,  and  Dead 
Buffalo  Lake  reached  about  noon.  The  Indians  were 
seen  in  the  distance  advancing  toward  us.  It  was  not 
known  that  there  was  any  good  camping  place  within 
reach  that  day  ahead,  and  it  was  decided  to  go  into 
camp  on  the  lake. 

"Lieutenant  Whipple's  6-pounders  were  advanced 
to  a  hill  half  a  mile  in  advance  toward  the  Indians, 
and  the  6th  regiment  was  deployed  forward  to  sup 
port  the  battery  and  engage  the  Indians. 

"  The  Indians  circled  around,  got  on  the  high  knolls 
and  ridges,  and  took  observations,  but  seemed  indis 
posed  to  commence  hostilities.  The  artillery  shelled 
them  when  they  ventured  near  enough,  and  the 


328  THE   SIOUX   WAR   AND   MASSACRE. 

skirmishers  gave  them  shots  when  they  approached 
any  where  near  the  camp. 

"Thus  some  hours  passed  without  the  Indians  de 
veloping  their  purpose.  A  large  portion  of  them  kept 
out  of  sight.  Finally,  about  three  o'clock,  a  mounted 
force  of  Indians  suddenly  dashed  in  on  the  north  side 
of  the  camp,  where  mules  had  been  turned  out  to  graze, 
and  where  teamsters  were  getting  grass. 

"They  had  almost  reached  them,  when  Captain  Wil 
son's  and  Davey's  companies  of  cavalry — the  latter 
under  Lieutenant  Kidder — putting  their  horses  to  the 
j  ump,  dashed  upon  the  Indians,  and  so  dismayed  them 
that  they  wheeled  their  ponies  to  escape,  but  not  in 
time  to  escape  the  carbine  shots,  followed  by  the  re 
volver  and  sabre,  that  left  a  goodly  number  of  the  red 
warriors  on  the  field.  Some  of  the  scouts  did  good 
service  in  this  charge. 

"  One  wounded  Indian  tried  to  escape  by  seizing 
his  horse's  tail ;  but,  unfortunately  for  him,  the  pony 
got  a  shot  in  the  shoulder.  John  Platt,  of  Company 
L,  dashed  up  to  finish  the  Indian  with  his  revolver, 
but  it  didn't  go  off,  and  before  he  could  check  his  horse 
he  was  upon  the  Indian,  who  had  reserved  a  shot  in 
his  gun,  which  he  fired  into  the  thigh  and  bowels  of 
poor  Platt,  giving  him  his  death-wound.  Joe  Camp 
bell,  one  of  the  scouts,  tried  to  save  Platt,  but  it  was 
too"  late.  Campbell's  shot,  fired  at  the  same  instant 
that  the  Indian  fired  the  fatal  shot  at  Platt,  went 
through  the  vitals  of  the  savage  and  finished  him. 
Platt's  comrades,  exasperated  at  his  mortal  wound, 
tore  the  Indian's  scalp  from  his  head  before  he  was 
dead. 

"A  part  of  the  6th  regiment,  under  Major  M'Laren, 


THE   BATTLES   ON  THE   MISSOURI.  329 

bad  returned  to  camp,  and  was  on  their  color  line,  on 
the  side  where  the  Indians  made  the  dash.  They 
promptly  advanced  to  the  support  of  the  cavalry,  and 
took  a  hand  in.  Thus  the  6th,  among  the  infantry 
regiments,  on  this  day  did  the  fighting.  The  cavalry 
and  artillery,  in  this  as  in  the  previous  and  subsequent 
engagement,  had  always  their  full  share  of  work.  The 
Indians  appeared  on  the  south  side  of  the  camp,  out 
of  range,  but  made  no  farther  attack." 

THE  BATTLE  OF  STONY  LAKE. 

"  The  march  was  resumed  on  the  27th,  and  the 
trail,  still  marked  by  robes  and  other  articles,  was  fol 
lowed  toward  the  Missouri  Eiver. 

"  After  a  march  of  nearly  twenty  miles,  camp  was 
pitched  on  a  small  lake  half  a  mile  long  and  twenty 
rods  wide. 

"  On  the  morning  of  the  28th,  just  as  the  rear  of 
the  train  was  filing  around  the  south  end  of  the  lake, 
the  advance  being  nearly  to  the  top  of  a  long  hill,  the 
Indians  suddenly  made  their  appearance  in  front  and 
on  the  flanks,  rapidly  circling  around  to  the  rear. 
They  were  in  immense  numbers,  seemingly  all 
mounted. 

"  Major  Joe  Brown,  guide,  and  some  of  the  scouts, 
who  were  in  advance,  narrowly  escaped  being  cap 
tured.  The  10th  regiment,  Colonel  Baker,  which  was 
in  the  advance,  promptly  and  gallantly  met  the  attack 
in  front,  which  was  the  first  demonstration  of  the  In 
dians.  The  artillery  was  quickly  brought  into  play, 
and  the  savages  drew  back  to  a  safe  distance.  Colo 
nel  Crooks,*  with  the  6th  regiment,  on  the  right  flank, 

*  Colonel  Crooks  is  a  prompt,  first-class  officer,  who  received  his 


330  THE   SIOUX  WAR  AND   MASSACRE. 

held  them  at  bay  and  effectually  guarded  the  train, 
while  the  cavalry  on  the  left,  and  the  7th  regiment 
and  cavalry  in  the  rear,  presented  an  unassailable  line. 
The  Indians  got  partly  under  cover  of  broken  ground 
at  the  south  end  of  the  lake,  but  were  soon  dislodged 
by  the  fire  of  Lieutenant  Western's  section  of  the  bat 
tery  and  a  line  of  skirmishers  of  the  7th.  One  shot 
from  an  Indian,  evidently  aimed  at  Colonel  Marshall 
while  he  was  locating  a  howitzer,  struck  the  ground 
at  his  feet.  The  most  determined  effort,  however,  to 
make  a  breach  was  in  front,  and  was  fairly  resisted  by 
the  10th  regiment,  so  that  it  had  its  day  of  fighting. 

"The  Indians,  as  they  came  on  at  first,  were  heard 
to  say,  '  It  is  too  late,  it  is  too  late,'  evidently  having 
expected  to  surprise  the  force  in  camp.  Another  In 
dian  answered, '  We  must  fight  for  our  children.' 

"After  seeing  that  the  proper  dispositions  had  been 
made  for  guarding  the  train,  the  general  ordered  the 
column  to  move  forward  regardless  of  the  Indians. 
The  Indians,  seeing  the  purpose  of  the  whites  to  press 
on  toward  their  families,  quickly  withdrew,  the  whole 
demonstration  not  delaying  the  march  over  two  hours. 

"General  Sibley,  Major  Brown,  and  others,  esti 
mated  the  number  of  Indians  this  day  at  over  two 
thousand.  In  the  battle  of  Big  Mound  were  all  the 
Lower  Indians,  the  Sissetons,  and  part  of  the  Yankto- 
nais.  In  the  last  day's  fight,  that  of  Stony  Lake,  they 
had  been  re-enforced  by  another  camp  of  Yanktonais, 
and  some  Tetons  from  the  west  side  of  the  Missouri 
Eiver.  The  whites  captured  a  Teton  boy  who  had 
no  gun,  and  was  subsequently  released  at  the  Missouri 

military  education  at  West  Point.  His  knowledge  and  experience 
were  of  great  avail  upon  the  expeditions  of  1862  and  1863. 


THE   BATTLES   ON  THE   MISSOURI.  331 

Kiver.  This  Teton  and  an  old  squaw  were  the  only 
prisoners  taken  in  battle  or  near  a  battle.  The  sup 
plications  for  life  of  the  wretches  when  they  had  fired 
their  last  shot  were  generally  met  by  a  sabre- thrust 
that  finished  them." 

SKIRMISH  ON  THE  MISSOURI. 

"No  more  Indians  were  encountered  until  the  banks 
of  the  Missouri  were  reached  on  the  morning  of  the 
29th.  The  Indians  had  made  good  use  of  the  night, 
and  got  their  families  and  ponies  over.  Their  wag 
ons,  to  the  number  of  over  one  hundred,  and  a  rem 
nant  of  their  plunder  that  had  not  been  strewn  along 
the  route  of  their  flight,  was  left  on  the  east  bank  of 
the  river.  The  Indians  crowded  the  bluffs  on  the  west 
side. 

"  The  6th  regiment,  then  in  the  advance,  advanced, 
deployed  as  skirmishers,  through  the  woods  a  mile 
and  a  half  to  the  river.  As  they  were  starting  to  re 
turn,  a  heavy  volley,  that  came  from  the  high  grass  on 
the  opposite  bank,  fell  harmless  about  them  or  short 
of  them.  They  stopped  a  moment  to  return  it,  but  the 
distance  was  too  great  for  effect. 

"  "While  Colonel  Crooks  was  at  the  river,  the  gener 
al  sent  an  order  by  Lieutenant  Beever,  aid-de-camp. 
On  his  return  with  an  answer,  Lieutenant  Beever  mis 
took  a  trail  that  led  down  the  river,  where  his  body 
was  found  next  day  pierced  by  three  arrows  and  a 
ball.  He  had  also  wounds  from  a  tomahawk  on  his 
head.  His  horse  lay  near  him.  Two  pools  of  blood 
twenty  paces  from  his  body  indicated  that  two  of  his 
murderers  had  paid  dearly  for  his  life.  On  the  same 
trail  was  found  the  body  of  Private  Nicholas  Miller, 


332  THE   SIOUX   WAR  AND   MASSACRE. 

of  Company  K,  6th  regiment,  who  had  made  the  same 
mistake  in  taking  the  trail  that  Beever  had. 

"  Two  days  were  passed  in  camp  at  the  mouth  of 
Apple  Creek,  on  the  Missouri,  opposite  Burnt  Boot 
Island,  and  then  the  homeward  march  was  resumed. 
The  expedition  had  but  fifteen  days'  rations,  nine  or 
ten  of  which  would  be  consumed  in  returning  to  Gamp 
Atcheson.  It  would  take  two  or  three  days  to  cross 
the  Missouri,  so  that  all  the  surplus  would  have  been 
consumed  in  crossing  and  recrossing  the  river. 

"The  animals  were  completely  worn  down.  Over 
twelve  miles  a  day  could  not  be  made  on  the  scanty 
feed  they  were  getting.  It  would  therefore  have  been 
useless  to  go  farther.  Much  had  been  accomplished. 
Forty-four  bodies  of  warriors  had  been  found,  many 
more  carried  off  and  concealed.  The  season's  supplies 
of  meat  and  clothing  material,  and  their  wagons,  were 
destroyed.  The  bowlings  of  the  squaws  that  came 
across  the  river  told  the  tale  of  their  misery  and  de 
spair."* 

It  was  hoped  that  General  Sully  would  have  ar 
rived  in  time  to  co-operate  with  General  Sibley,  but 
no  indications  of  his  whereabouts  could  then  be  ascer 
tained. 

General  Sibley,  after  the  battles,  caused  the  follow 
ing  order  to  be  read  on  dress  parade  : 

Copy  of  General  Orders  No.  51. 

"To  the  Officers  and  Soldiers  of  the  Expeditionary  Force  in  Camp: 

"  It  is  proper  for  the  brigadier  general  commanding 
to  announce  to  you  that  the  march  to  the  west  and 

*  The  account  of  these  battles,  as  furnished  by  Lieutenant  Colonel 
Marshall,  is  taken  from  the  St.  Paul  Press. 


THE   BATTLES   ON   THE   MISSOURI.  333 

north  is  completed,  and  that  to-morrow  the  column 
will  move  homeward,  to  discharge  such  other  duties 
connected  with  the  objects  of  the  expedition  on  the 
way  as  may  from  time  to  time  present  themselves. 

"In  making  this  announcement,  General  Sibley  ex 
presses  also  his  high  gratification  that  the  campaign 
has  been  a  complete  success.  The  design  of  the  gov 
ernment  in  chastising  the  savages,  and  thereby  pre 
venting  for  the  future  the  raids  upon  the  frontier,  has 
been  fully  accomplished.  You  have  routed  the  mis 
creants  who  murdered  our  people  last  year,  banded  as 
they  were  with  the  Upper  Sioux  to  the  number  of 
nearly  2000  warriors,  in  three  successive  engagements, 
with  heavy  loss,  and  driven  them  in  confusion  and 
dismay  across  the  Missouri  Eiver,  leaving  behind 
them  all  their  provisions,  vehicles,  and  skins  designed 
for  clothing,  which  have  been  destroyed.  Forty -four 
bodies  of  warriors  have  been  found,  and  many  others 
concealed  or  taken  away,  according  to  the  custom  of 
these  savages,  so  that  it  is  certain  that  they  have  lost 
in  killed  and  wounded  not  less  than  from  one  hund 
red  and  twenty  to  one  hundred  and  fifty  men.  All 
this  has  been  accomplished  with  the  comparatively 
trifling  loss  on  our  part  of  three  killed  and  as  many 
wounded.  You  have  marched  nearly  six  hundred 
miles  from  St.  Paul,  and  the  powerful  bands  of  the 
Dakotas,  who  have  heretofore  held  undisputed  posses 
sion  of  these  great  prairies,  have  succumbed  to  your 
valor  and  discipline,  and  sought  safety  in  flight.  The 
intense  heat  and  drouth  have  caused  much  suffering, 
which  you  have  endured  without  a  murmur.  The 
companies  of  the  6th,  7th,  9th,  and  10th  regiments  of 
Minnesota  Volunteers,  First  Minnesota  Mounted  Ean- 


334  THE   SIOUX  WAR  AND  MASSACRE. 

gers,  and  the  sections  of  the  battery,  have  amply  sus 
tained  the  reputation  of  the  state  by  their  bravery  and 
endurance  amid  unknown  dangers  and  great  hard 
ships.  Each  has  had  opportunity  to  distinguish  itself 
against  a  foe  at  least  equal  in  numbers  to  itself. 

"  It  would  be  a  gratification  if  these  remorseless 
savages  could  have  been  pursued  and  utterly  extir 
pated,  for  their  crimes  and  barbarities  merited  such  a 
full  measure  of  punishment ;  but  men  and  animals  are 
alike  exhausted  after  so  long  a  march,  and  a  farther 
pursuit  would  only  be  futile  and  hopeless.  The  mili 
tary  results  of  the  campaign  have  been  fully'accom- 
plished ;  for  the  savages  have  not  only  been  destroyed 
in  great  numbers,  and  their  main  strength  broken, 
but  their  prospects  for  the  future  are  hopeless  indeed, 
for  they  can  hardly  escape  starvation  during  the  com 
ing  winter. 

"  It  is  peculiarly  gratifying  to  the  brigadier  general 
commanding  to  know  that  the,  tremendous  fatigues 
and  manifold  dangers  of  the  expedition  thus  far  have 
entailed  so  small  a  loss  of  life  on  his  command.  A 
less  careful  policy  than  that  adopted  might  have  ef 
fected  the  destruction  of  more  of  the  enemy,  but  that 
could  only  have  been  done  by  a  proportional  expo 
sure  on  our  part,  and  the  consequent  loss  of  many 
more  lives,  bringing  sorrow  and  mourning  to  our  own 
homes.  Let  us  therefore  return  thanks  to  a  merciful 
God  for  His  manifest  interposition  in  our  favor,  and 
for  the  success  attendant  upon  our  efforts  to  secure 
peace  to  the  borders  of  our  own  state,  and  of  our 
neighbors  and  friends  in  Dakota  Territory.  And  as 
we  proceed  on  our  march  toward  those  most  near  and 
dear  to  us,  let  us  be  prepared  to  discharge  other  du- 


THE  BATTLES   ON  THE   MISSOURI.  335 

ties  which  may  be  imposed  upon  us  during  our  jour 
ney  with  cheerful  and  willing  hearts. 

"  To  the  regimental  and  company  officers  of  the 
command  the  brigadier  general  commanding  tenders 
his  warmest  thanks  for  their  co-operation  and  aid,  on 
every  occasion,  during  the  passage  of  the  column 
through  the  heart  of  an  unknown  region  inhabited  by 
a  subtle  and  merciless  foe.  To  the  friends  and  fami 
lies  of  our  fallen  comrades,  we  have  our  warmest  sym 
pathies  to  offer  in  their  bereavement. 

"  General  Sibley  takes  this  occasion  to  express  his 
appreciation  of  the  activity  and  zeal  displayed  by  the 
members  of  his  staff,  one  and  all. 

"By  command  of  Brigadier  General  SIBLEY."* 

"The  point  on  the  Missouri  reached  by  General 
Sibley  was  in  latitude  46°  42',  longitude  100°  35', 
about  forty  miles  by  land  below  Fort  Clarke.  The 
distance  from  Fort  Snelling,  by  the  line  of  march,  was 
made  by  Colonel  Crooks'  to  be  585  miles."f 

"  The  entire  list  of  casualties  up  to  July  31st  was 
as  follows : 

*  Henry  H.  Sibley  was  born  at  Detroit  in  1812.  In  1834  he  com 
menced  his  residence  at  Mendota,  at  the  mouth  of  the  Minnesota  Riv 
er,  as  an  employe  of  the  American  Fur  Company,  where  he  has  ever 
since  resided.  He  was  the  first  delegate  to  Congress  from  the  Terri 
tory  of  Minnesota,  and  the  first  governor  of  the  state.  In  person  he 
is  tall,  portly,  and  commanding.  His  attention  to  whatever  he  un 
dertakes  is  systematic  and  unwearied,  and  his  reputation  for  honesty 
and  courage  unquestioned.  Captain  Olin  acted  as  his  adjutant  gen 
eral  during  the  campaign  of  1863.  That  position  was  filled  in  1862, 
after  Colonel  Fowler's  resignation,  by  Major  Joseph  R.  Brown,  long 
a  resident  in  the  Indian  country,  and  whose  invaluable  advice,  to 
gether  with  that  of  Messrs.  Riggs  and  Forbes,  General  Sibley  fre 
quently  availed  himself  of.  t  Pioneer  and  Democrat. 


336  THE   SIOUX  WAR  AND   MASSACRE. 

"Killed. — Dr.  Weiser,  of  Shakopee,  surgeon  to  the 
Mounted  Eangers ;  F.  J.  Holt  Beever,  aid  to  General 
Sibley,  with  rank  of  lieutenant ;  Lieutenant  Freeman, 
of  the  Mounted  Kangers ;  G.  A.  Stark,  of  St.  Peter's, 
of  the  Eangers;  John  Murphy,  of  Waseca,  of  the 
Eangers — killed  by  lightning ;  John  Platt,  of  Fillmore 
County,  Company  L,  Mounted  Eangers ;  Nicholas  Mil 
ler,  of  the  6th  regiment.  Wounded. — Andrew  Moar, 
of  Fillmore  County,  of  the  Mounted  Eangers ;  Cor 
poral  "William  B.  Hezlep,  Company  B,  1st  Minnesota 
Mounted  Eangers ;  Sergeant  James  E.  Grady,  Com 
pany  L,  1st  Minnesota  Mounted  Eangers."* 

*  St.  Paul  Press. 


THE   FUTURE.  337 


CHAPTER  XXII. 

THE   FUTURE. 

THE  hostilities  of  the  Sioux  have  not  yet  ended. 
The  Yanktonais  and  Tetons  have  suffered  but  little, 
and  their  warriors  are  numerous  and  by  no  means 
cowed.  Neither  tribe  ever  entered  into  treaties  with 
the  government,  and  are  not  dependent  upon  it  for 
support.  The"  Tetons  cherish  a  deadly  hatred  toward 
the  whites  for  the  massacre  of  their  families  several 
years  ago  by  General  Harney's  forces,  and  the  Yank 
tonais  have  been  threatening  hostilities  ever  since  the 
treaties  of  1851  and  1852  for  the  land  in  Minnesota, 
in  which  they  rightfully  claimed  an  interest,  and  for 
which  they  received  no  compensation.  The  recent 
-battles  in  which  they  were  engaged  will  but  inflame 
their  resentment,  and  we  shall  have,  unless  vigorous 
measures  are  taken  against  it,  a  lengthy  continuation 
of  the  desolating  war  upon  the  frontier. 

Most  of  the  tribes  beyond  these  are  seriously  dis 
affected,  and  loud  in  their  complaints  against  the  gov 
ernment,  as  the  report  made  last  year  to  Congress 
upon  Indian  Affairs  will  show.  Some  of  them  have 
been  actually  engaged  in  hostilities,  and  their  natural 
desire  for  war  may  induce  them  to  join  the  others. 
Pontiac's  war  lasted  six,  and  the  Seminole  war  seven 
years.  In  the  spring  another  expedition  should  be 
fitted  out  to  inflict  farther  chastisement  upon  all 
wrong-doers,  and  enforce  security. 

In  the  mean  time  the  frontier  should  be  carefully 
P  ' 


338  THE   SIOUX   WAR  AND   MASSACEE. 

guarded  with  a  large  force.  The  Mounted  Bangers, 
whose  term  of  service  will  soon  expire,  should  be  in 
duced  to  re-enlist,  and  Major  Hatch's*  battalion  should 
be  increased  to  a  regiment.  These  are  necessary  for 
patrol  duty  and  the  speedy  relief  of  any  post  which 
might  suddenly  be  attacked,  and  more  especially  for 
the  hunting  down  of  small  parties  of  murderers,  who, 
by  the  celerity  and  secrecy  of  their  movements,  evade 
the  pursuit  of  infantry. 

There  is  another  nation  of  Indians  who  are  to  be 
feared  more  than  those  who  are  engaged  in  open  war, 
because  the  government  is  not  aware  of  the  danger 
which  exists,  and  are  taking  no  precautions  against  it. 
That  nation  is  the  Chippeway.  They  extend  from 
Dakota  to  the  St.  Lawrence.  The  number  of  their 
warriors  in  the  United  States  alone  is  fully  four  thou 
sand,  and  there  are  nearly  as  many  more  in  the  Brit 
ish  Possessions. 

The  Sioux  war  has  already  cost  the  country  over 
ten  millions  of  dollars,  and  will  cost  many  millions 
more  before  its  completion.  The  scene  of  military 
operations  against  them  is  a  prairie  country,  where  the 
hiding-places  are  few  and  pursuit  easy.  What  will  be 
the  expenses  of  a  conflict  with  the  Chippeways,  who 
are  mostly  located  in  a  wilderness  filled  with  lakes, 
swamps,  and  thickets  ?  Ninety  thousand  square  miles 
of  such  territory,  closely  bordered  by  settlements  of 
the  whites,  is  included  in  their  possessions  in  Wiscon 
sin  and  Minnesota.f 

*  Major  Hatch  has  lived  among  the  Indians  many  years,  and  is 
thoroughly  acquainted  with  their  mode  of  warfare.  Fearless,  inde 
fatigable,  and  vigilant,  no  better  commander  could  be  selected. 

f  The  Scminoles,  to  whose  seven  years'  war  one  with  the  Chippo 


THE   FUTURE.  339 

This  formidable  foe,  at  least  so  far  as  the  latter 
states  are  concerned,  are  as  dissatisfied  as  the  Sioux, 
from  similar  causes,  and  their  grievances  have  been 
of  as  long  standing.  They  have  often  importuned  for 
redress,  but  in  vain.  In  the  spring  preceding  the  Si 
oux  massacre,  Hole-in-the-Day  visited  Washington  to 
expose  their  grievances ;  but  an  audience  was  so  long 
delayed  by  those  in  authority  that  he  returned  in  dis 
gust,  and  advised  a  junction  with  the  Sioux. 

This  was  prevented  by  their  hereditary  enmity  to 
ward  the  latter,  and  the  interposition  and  promises  of 
the  Hon.  Henry  M.  Eice,  and  other  whites  who  had  in 
fluence  with  them,  and  by  a  solemn  treaty  that  their 
wrongs  should  be  inquired  into  by  commissioners 
(who  were  then  appointed)  and  forthwith  redressed. 
Over  a  year  has  elapsed,  and  no  such  examination  or 
redress  has  been  authorized  by  the  government. 

Last  winter  a  number  of  the  chiefs  were  taken  to 
Washington,  and  there,  in  the  absence  of  their  braves  and 
head  men,  a  treaty  was  agreed  to  for  the  cession  of  a 
part  of  their  lands.  The  chiefs  passed  through  St. 
Paul  on  their  return,  and  were  then  in  a  state  of  beast 
ly  intoxication.  The  Indians  were  dissatisfied  with 
their  action,  and  put  one  of  them  to  death. 

ways  has  been  likened,  were  able  to  bring  into  the  field  only  1910  war 
riors,  of  whom  250  were  their  negro  slaves,  and  occupied  only  47,000 
square  miles  of  territory.  The  United  States  sent  against  them  more 
than  20,000  men,  and  paid  $20,000,000  to  militia  and  volunteers,  or 
to  compensate  losses  incurred  by  citizens,  exclusive  of  the  expenditures 
pertaining  to  the  regular  army.  Blood-hounds  were  used  to  hunt  them 
down ;  a  reward  of  $200  was  given  for  every  Indian  killed ;  750 
Creek  Indians  were  employed  to  assist  the  whites ;  the  best  generals 
in  the  service  were  placed  in  command,  including  General  Scott ;  and 
yet  the  United  States  had  to  abandon  the  attempt  to  remove  all  the 
Seminoles  from  the  country,  and  were  forced  at  last  to  make  a  treaty 
with  them. 


340  THE   SIOUX  WAR  AND  MASSACRE. 

The  very  fact  of  a  treaty  being  made  at  Washing 
ton  and  not  at  home  is  ominous  of  clanger.  Eecollect 
the  treaties  of  1858,  which  were  there  made  with  the 
Sioux  chiefs.  From  that  time  they  lost  all  influence 
with  their  young  men,  who  believed  they  had  been 
bribed  with  presents. 

The  magazine  of  combustibles  which  have  been  ac 
cumulating  for  years  is  rapidly  approaching  reple 
tion,  and  the  spark  of  fire  will  not  be  wanting.  The 
Sioux  war,  when  the  minds  of  the  people  were  in  such 
a  condition,  grew  out  of  the  breaking  of  a  few  hens' 
eggs. 

What  shall  be  done  ? 

1.  Place  an  adequate  force  for  security  upon  every 
reservation,  and  keep  it  there.     Men  can  easily  be  in 
duced  to  volunteer  for  such  service.    It  will  be  cheap 
er  than  afterward  to  employ  ten  times  the  number  of 
experienced  troops,  who  are  needed  elsewhere,  after 
hundreds  of  people  are  massacred  and  their  property 
destroyed. 

2.  Let  the  commissioners,  who  were  appointed  in 
good  faith  by  the  Indians  and  the  state  authorities, 
with  the  concurrence  of  Commissioner  Doll,  of  the  In 
dian  Department,  for  the  adjustment  of  grievances,  be 
empowered  to  proceed,  and  let  ample  reparation  be 
made. 

3.  Pay  the  Indians  henceforth  their  dues  in  full.    If 
robberies  are  committed  by  Indians,  deduct  the  value 
of  the  article  stolen  from  the  annuity  due  the  culprit, 
and  not  from  the  general  fund  of  all,  and  let  this  not 
be  done  on  an  ex-parte  statement,  but  after  a  full  ex 
amination,  in  which  the  accused  shall  have  an  oppor 
tunity  to  be  heard. 


THE   FUTUEE.  341 

4.  Let  the  stipulations  of  the  treaties  for  farming- 
implements,  seeds,  goods,  etc.,  be  fully  carried  out. 

These  three  last  recommendations  have  been  guar 
anteed  to  the  Indians  by  solemn  treaty. 

5.  Eemove  the  traders  from  the  reservations,  and 
let  the  government  furnish  the  Indians  with  goods ; 
also  prohibit  all  traffic  on  credit  between  the  whites 
and  Indians  by  making  the  contract  void.     The  trad 
ers  now  engaged  in  the  business  should  be  fully  re 
munerated  for  the  loss  they  will  incur,  as  they  em 
barked  in  the  trade  in  good  faith. 

6.  Justice  and  humanity  require  that,  as  we  have 
deprived  the  Indian  of  his  occupation  of  hunting  and 
the  indulgence  of  the  wild  habits  of  centuries,  we 
should  make  a  genuine  attempt  to  have  him  adapt  him 
self  to  his  altered  condition.     Such  an  attempt  has 
never  yet  been  made,  although  the  treaties  contem 
plate  it,  and  the  officials  pretend  it  has  been  done.     A 
proper  code  of  laws  and  policy,  having  in  view  this 
end,  should  be  adopted,  and  their  administration  in 
trusted  to  the  state  government,  which  should  also  be 
made  the  medium  for  the  disbursement  of  the  goods, 
etc.,  due  under  the  treaties.     The  federal  government 
is  never  awakened  to  the  corruption,  inefficiency,  and 
want  of  knowledge  which  pervades  the  Indian  De 
partment  until  some   awful  catastrophe  shocks  the 
public  heart,  and  then  it  quickly  relapses  again  into 
its  accustomed  lethargy.     I  recently  saw  in  the  Her 
ald  an  editorial  note  that  serious  charges  against  the 
department  had  been  handed  in  for  publication,  but 
that  the  public  were  too  much  occupied  with  more  im 
portant  matters  to  justify  any  notice  of  them. 

Let  the  officer  intrusted  with  the  administration  of 


342  THE   SIOUX   WAR   AND   MASSACRE. 

Indian  affairs  be  responsible  to  a  people  whose  lives 
and  fortunes  are  dependent  upon  the  performance  of 
his  duties,  and  whose  situation  is  such  as  to  enable 
them  to  know  when  he  does  perform  them,  and  we 
shall  have  fewer  massacres  and  less  sins  to  answer  for 
as  a  nation.  Penn  treated  the  Indians  honestly  and 
fairly,  and  for  nearly  a  century  the  history  of  the 
commonwealth  which  he  founded  was  unstained  by 
the  bloody  records  of  barbarities  which  characterize 
the  annals  of  the  other  states. 

The  Chippeways  are  less  warlike  than  the  Sioux, 
and  having  been  accustomed  to  live  more  upon  fish, 
and  upon  wild  rice  and  corn,  than  upon  the  products 
of  the  chase,  will  be  the  more  easily  induced  to  adopt 
the  habit  of  cultivating  the  soil ;  and  much  of  their 
land  is  of  such  a  nature  as  not  to  be  speedily  needed 
by  the  whites.  If  the  government  will  take  prompt 
and  proper  action  in  the  premises,  "  out  of  the  nettle 
danger  we  may  pluck  the  flower  safety."  The  tide 
of  travel  which  was  setting  across  the  continent  for 
the  distant  Pacific,  so  suddenly  checked,  will  flow  on 
again  with  redoubled  volume — the  buffalo,  who  has 
come  far  within  the  former  bounds  of  civilization, 
speed  away — the  scarred  and  devastated  fields  wave 
once  more  with  the  bounteous  harvest — the  blighted 
homestead  rear  its  peaceful  walls,  clad  with  clamber 
ing  vines,  and  vocal  with  the  songs  of  happy  child 
hood  ;  and  the  "  North  Star  State,"  the  state  of  lakes, 
and  streams,  and  bounteous  lands,  and  healthful,  in 
vigorating  air,  and  steel-blue  skies,  become  in  the  fu 
ture,  as  it  has  been  in  the  past,  the  resort  of  the  emi 
grant  from  every  clime. 


APPENDIX. 


As  confirmatory  of  some  of  the  statements  and  views  contained  in 
the  foregoing  pages,  I  append  the  following  Missionary  Paper  issued 
by  the  "Bishop  Seabtiry  Mission"  of  Minnesota  in  January,  1863. 

AN  APPEAL   FOR  THE   BED   MAN. 
BY  BISHOP  WHIFFLE,  OF  MINNESOTA. 

There  are  times  when  the  Christian  laborer  has  the  right  to  ask  for 
the  sympathy,  the  prayers,  and  the  co-operation  of  all  good  men ;  for 
this  reason  I  ask  the  calm  attention  of  my  fellow-citizens  to  an  appeal 
in  behalf  of  one  of  the  most  wretched  races  of  heathen  men  on  the 
earth.  I  do  not  make  this  plea  simply  for  a  heathen  race — I  plead 
for  every  interest  which  is  dear  to  my  heart.  The  fair  fame  of  the 
state,  the  blessing  of  God  upon  the  nation,  the  protection  of  peaceful 
citizens  from  savage  violence,  the  welfare  of  our  children,  and  the 
prosperity  of  the  Church  of  Christ,  are  bound  up  in  our  settlement  of 
this  Indian  question.  It  is  too  late  to  shrink  f^om  responsibility. 
The  fearful  issues  are  upon  us,  and  as  we  settle  them  justly  or  unjust 
ly,  we  shall  receive  the  blessing  or  the  curse  of  Almighty  God. 

It  is  not  a  pleasant  task  to  make  an  appeal  where  excited  public 
feeling  may  arouse  unkind  suspicions  and  unjust  accusations.  Few 
men  love  more  than  myself  the  approval  of  their  fellow-citizens,  and 
none  desire  more  the  affection  of  those  among  whom  they  labor.  I 
dare  not  be  silent ;  I  fear  less  the  reproaches  of  the  people  than  the 
anger  of  God. 

The  nation  has  heard  of  the  most  fearful  Indian  massacre  in  his 
tory ;  but  those  who  live  remote  from  the  border  can  have  no  idea  of 
the  awful  horrors  which  have  accompanied  the  desolation  of  two 
hundred  miles  of  the  fairest  country  on  the  earth.  Many  of  these 
victims  of  savage  ferocity  were  my  friends.  They  had  mingled  their 
voices  with  mine  in  prayer ;  they  had  given  to  me  such  hospitality  as 
can  only  be  found  in  the  log  cabin  of  the  frontier.  It  fills  my  heart 
with  grief,  and  blinds  my  eyes  with  tears,  whenever  I  think  of  their 


344  APPENDIX. 

nameless  graves.  It  is  because  I  love  them,  and  would  save  others 
from  their  fate,  that  I  ask  that  the  people  shall  lay  the  blame  of  this 
great  crime  where  it  belongs,  and  rise  up  with  one  voice  to  demand 
the  reform  of  an  atrocious  Indian  system,  which  has  always  garnered 
for  us  the  same  fruit  of  anguish  and  blood. 

There  is  not  a  man  in  America  who  ever  gave  an  hour's  calm  re 
flection  to  this  subject  who  does  not  know  that  our  Indian  system  is 
an  organized  system  of  robbery,  and  has  been  for  years  a  disgrace  to 
the  nation.  It  has  left  savage  men  without  governmental  control; 
it  has  looked  on  unconcerned  at  every  crime  against  the  law  of  God 
and  man ;  it  has  fostered  savage  life  by  wasting  thousands  of  dollars 
in  the  purchase  of  paint,  beads,  scalping-knives,  and  tomahawks  ;*  it 
has  fostered  a  system  of  trade  which  robbed  the  thrifty  and  virtuous 
to  pay  the  debts  of  the  indolent  and  vicious;  it  has  squandered  the 
funds  for  civilization  and  schools ;  it  has  connived  at  theft ;  it  has 
winked  at  murder;  and  at  last,  after  dragging  the  savage  down  to  a 
brutishness  unknown  to  his  fathers,  it  has  brought  a  harvest  of  blood 
to  our  own  door. 

It  was  under  this  Indian  system  that  the  fierce,  warlike  Sioux  were 
fitted  and  trained  to  be  the  actors  in  this  bloody  drama ;  and  the  same 
causes  are  to-day  slowly  but  surely  preparing  the  way  for  a  Chippe- 
way  war.  There  is  not  to-day  an  old  citizen  of  Minnesota  who  will 
not  shrug  his  shoulders  as  he  speaks  of  the  dishonesty  which  accom 
panied  the  purchase  of  the  lands  of  the  Sioux.  It  left  in  savage- 
minds  a  deep  sense  of  injustice.  There  followed  ten  years  of  savage 
life,  unchecked  by  law,  and  uninfluenced  by  good  example.  They 
were  taught  by  white  men  that  lying  was  no  disgrace,  adultery  no 
sin,  and  theft  no  crime.  Their  hunting-grounds  were  gone  ;  the  on 
ward  march  of  civilization  crowded  them  on  every  side.  Their  only 
possible  hope  of  being  saved  from  starvation  was  the  fidelity  with 
which  a  great  nation  fulfilled  its  plighted  faith,  which  before  God  and 
man  it  had  pledged  to  its  heathen  wards.  The  people  here  on  the 
border,  and  the  rulers  at  Washington,  know  how  that  faith  has  been 
broken.  The  constant  irritations  of  such  a  system  would  in  time  have 
secured  an  Indian  massacre.  It  was  hastened  and  precipitated  by 
the  sale  of  nearly  800,000  acres  of  land,  for  which  they  never  received 
one  farthing,  for  it  was  all  absorbed  in  claims.  Then  came  the  story 
(and  it  was  true)  that  half  of  their  annuity  money  had  also  been  taken 

*  In  the  advertisement  for  Indian  supplies  during  the  autumn  of  the  Sioux  mas 
sacre  were  ICO  doz.  scalping-knives,  600  Ibs.  of  beads,  100  doz.  butcher-knives,  150 
Ibs.  of  paint. 


APPENDIX.  345 

for  claims.     They  waited  two  months,  mad,  exasperated,  hungry — 
the  agent  utterly  powerless  to  undo  the  wrong  committed  at  Wash 
ington — and  they  resolved  on  savage  vengeance.     For  every  dollar 
of  which  they  have  been  defrauded  we  shall  pay  ten  dollars  in  the 
cost  of  this  war.     It  has  been  so  for  fifty  years,  it  will  be  so  again. 
God's  retributive  justice  always  has  compelled  a  people  to  reap  exact 
ly  what  they  have  permitted  to  be  sown.     In  the  Chippeway  country 
there  was  the  same  wretched  policy,  and,  if  possible,  tenfold  more  of 
wrong.     They  had  seen  an  innocent  woman  die  by  the  brutal  violence 
of  white  men.     They  knew  that  fictitious  amounts  were  certified  to, 
and  dead  men's  names  placed  on  the  pay-rolls.    They  saw  disease  and 
death  holding  a  carnival  in  every  Indian  village,  and  they  knew  that 
much  of  their  sorrow  was  a  cup  of  degradation  which  we  had  given 
them  to  drink.      They  have  always  been  our  friends,  and,  hoping 
against  hope,  have  waited  for  the  tardy  justice  of  white  men.     Last 
fall  a  crafty  leader  sought  to  use  these  elements  of  discontent  to  ex 
cite  an  Indian  outbreak,  and,  had  it  not  been  that  there  was  a  Chris 
tian  Indian  clergyman,  and  faithful  Indian  friends  to  give  us  warn 
ing,  there  would  have  been  another  devastated  border.     That  Indian 
clergyman  lost  his  all  by  his  fidelity.     His  eldest  son,  then  sick,  died 
in  consequence  of  that  night  journey ;  another  child  is  lying  at  the 
point  of  death  ;   and  his  wife  is  broken-hearted  with  grief  and  care. 
His  Indian  friends  were  many  of  them  also  sufferers  from  the  anger 
of  their  savage  people,  but  they  felt  overpaid  by  having  saved  their 
white  friends  from  death.     The  Indian  Commissioner,  the  Secretary 
of  the  Interior,  the  Clerk  of  the  Department,  all  knew  these  facts,  and 
pledged  these  men,  in  the  name  of  their  Great  Father,  ample  reward 
and  protection  for  their  fidelity,  and  that  the  leaders  in  this  attempt 
ed  insurrection  should  be  punished.     The  Legislature  of  the  state  also 
sent  a  commission  to  the  Indian  country,  and  they  made  pledges  in  a 
solemn  treaty  that  all  past  wrongs  should  be  redressed.    Has  any  such 
examination  been  made  ?  any  effort  made  to  redress  these  wrongs  ? 
The  Indian  chiefs  say  that  the  government  has  rewarded  the  wrong 
doer,*  whom  they  can  prove  had  made  a  treaty  with  Little  Crow,  and 
they  also  say  that  the  reason  of  this  reward  is  that  he  knew  too  much 
of  the  past  robberies  of  his  own  people.     They  warn  us  that  the  gov 
ernment  is  teaching  their  young  men  that  they  will  be  losers  to  follow 
the  advice  of  good  chiefs,  and  that  we  will  surely  secure  a  bolder  out 
break  and  massacre.     They  complain  that  no  discrimination  is  ever 
made  between  the  good  and  the  bad  Indian ;  that  no  law  punishes 
•  Hole-in-the-Day. 

P2 


346  APPENDIX. 

the  one  or  protects  the  other ;  that  no  efforts  are  made  to  redress  their 
wrongs ;  that  no  help  is  offered  them  to  become  like  white  men ;  that 
we  are  crowding  them  into  their  graves ;  and  that,  however  much 
they  desire  peace,  the  time  is  coming  when  we  shall  compel  them  to 
a  choice  of  deaths.  After  months  of  waiting  for  the  fulfillment  of 
these  pledges,  these  Indians  have  received  at  the  hands  of  their  agent 
a  treaty,  which  they  are  urged  to  sign  at  once.  The  alternative  is 
peaceable  or  forcible  removal.  This  treaty  provides  that  they  shall 
relinquish  all  their  reservations,  many  of  which  are  valuable,  and  re 
ceive  as  payment  therefor  a  tract  of  country,  much  of  it  so  poor  that 
it  is  absolutely  valueless.  Any  white  man  who  has  traveled  over  that 
country  knows  that  these  Indians  can  not  live  on  that  proposed  res 
ervation  without  they  are  aided  far  beyond  the  provisions  of  this 
treaty.  It  has  filled  the  friendly  Indians  with  sorrow,  and  the  bad 
with  anger.  A  chief  who  did  as  much  as  any  man  to  prevent  a  Chip- 
peway  war  said  in  the  council  that  he  thought  their  Great  Father 
would  never  have  asked  Indians  to  give  up  their  homes,  who  had  lived 
in  peace  with  the  white  man,  and  been  so  faithful  to  them.  He  said 
that  no  confidence  can  be  placed  in  white  men's  words,  for  they  have 
again  and  again  made  promises  which  they  have  broken.  He  said, 
"  Before  you  came  to  us  we  had  plenty  and  were  happy,  but  since  we 
sold  you  our  land  we  are  growing  poorer  and  poorer  every  day.  If 
you  will  take  away  our  annuities,  you  may  do  so ;  we  can  not  leave 
our  country;  we  love  the  place  where  good  braves  and  chiefs  closed 
their  eyes ;  we  love  our  country  as  much  as  you  love  your  great  city 
at  Washington,  named  after  your  great  chief;  we  can  not  leave  it." 
This  feeling  that  our  faith  has  been  broken  is  common  among  the 
Chippeways.  During  the  last  summer  I  visited  the  Indians  at  Eed 
Lake.  After  the  services,  the  head  chief  came  to  me  and  said,  "  You 
have  spoken  good  words  to  us  ;  you  are  the  servant  of  the  Great  Spir 
it.  I  want  you  to  go  and  see  my  people's  gardens,  and  then  I  will 
ask  your  advice."  I  took  the  chief's  pony,  and  rode  four  miles  through 
cornfields,  every  acre  of  which  was  cultivated  with  the  hoe.  I  ate 
new  corn  and  new  potatoes  from  these  gardens  the  first  week  in  Au 
gust.  My  interpreter  counted  twenty-nine  sacks  of  last  year's  corn  in 
one  lodge,  and  we  hardly  found  a  lodge  without  plenty  of  old  corn. 
On  my  return  the  chief  said,  "You  have  seen  my  people;  they  have 
plenty ;  they  are  not  hungry.  Our  Great  Father  is  about  to  send  a 
commissioner  here  to  buy  our  land  ;  I  have  noticed  that  whenever  In 
dians  sell  their  lands  to  their  Great  Father,  they  always  perish.  I 
should  be  sorry  to  have  my  people  become  like  the  Indians  at  Crow 


APPENDIX.  347 

Wing.  Will  the  bishop  tell  me  all  that  he  has  in  his  head?"  Never 
did  my  cheeks  mantle  as  they  did  then  with  shame.  What  could  I 
say  ?  If  I  told  him  what  I  knew,  no  treaty  could  have  been  made, 
and  I  could  not  afford  to  have  the  government  accuse  me  of  prevent 
ing  the  making  of  an  Indian  treaty.  I  simply  said,  "  I  am  a  spiritual 
chief;  I  have  no  right  to  say  one  word  about  treaties ;  I  can  advise 
you  what  to  do  when  you  do  sell  your  land.  Select  your  home,  not 
for  its  game,  but  as  a  place  where  you  can  live  as  white  men,  by  labor. 
Take  your  pay,  not  in  paint,  beads,  and  hatchets,  but  in  implements 
of  labor.  Try  to  become  like  white  men ;  embrace  the  white  man's 
religion ;  the  Great  Spirit  will  bless  you,  and  you  will  save  your  peo 
ple." 

Recently  I  received  a  message  from  an  old  chief :  it  was  a  story  he 
told  his  young  men :  "  A  very  nice  and  pretty  bird  of  all  colors  came 
and  sang  beside  our  village ;  a  voice  said,  '  Listen  not  to  him ;  pay 
no  heed  to  his  song;  look  not  on  his  colors:'  he  went  away.  He 
came  again  with  finer  colors  and  sweeter  songs,  and  he  continued  to 
do  so  until  we  heard  him,  and  he  led  us  away  to  die.  The  bird  is 
the  big  knives,  his  songs  are  his  fair  words  and  lying  promises,  his 
colors  are  the  paints,  the  beads,  and  goods  he  gives  for  our  country  : 
woe  to  us,  for  the  day  we  hear  the  big  knives'  words  we  go  to  our 
graves." 

Our  Indian  clergyman  writes  to  me :  "  Do,  dear  bishop,  do  all  you 
can  for  my  dying  people ;  to-day,  if  we  had  never  seen  the  white 
man,  we  would  be  a  hundred  times  better  off;  our  only  hope  is  in 
you ;  if  you  fail  we  shall  perish ;  that  the  good  bishop  may  yet  be  the 
means  of  doing  much  good  to  our  oppressed  people,  in  private  and 
public  we  make  our  devotions.  We  have  remembered  him  at  the 
throne  of  grace,  and  may  he,  as  our  spiritual  parent,  live  many  days, 
and  be  the  means  of  the  salvation  of  our  people."  Can  I  hear  the 
cry  of  this  wretched  people  and  be  silent  ?  Can  I  see  these  wrongs 
and  not  speak  out  ?  I  should  be  ashamed  of  my  manhood  if  I  dared 
to  be  silent ;  I  should  be  recreant  to  my  awful  trust  as  shepherd  of 
souls ! 

I  shall  be  told  it  is  too  late  to  reform.  It  is  never  too  late  to  re 
dress  wrong.  It  will  cost  time,  labor,  and  money.  This  course  of 
injustice  will  provoke  a  Chippeway  war,  and  our  people  can  imagine 
what  that  war  will  be  when  savage  foes  have  wilderness  hiding-places 
filled  with  lakes,  swamps,  and  thickets  300  miles  long  and  300  miles 
broad.  Such  a  war  we  tried  in  Florida.  After  long  years  of  wasted 
treasure  and  precious  lives  sacrificed,  we  may  hunt  thorn  out.  But 


348  APPENDIX. 

the  most  expensive  justice  would  be  a  thousand-fold  cheaper.  The 
chiefs  among  the  Chippeways  desire  peace ;  they  dread  a  war  more 
than  we  do.  This  whole  question  can  be  settled  whenever  good  men 
can  say  to  them  your  people  shall  be  cared  for  honestly  and  faithful 
ly  ;  but  mere  promises  will  not  answer.  On  my  recent  visit  they 
plead  with  me  for  hours,  and  asked  me  to  write  their  old  friend 
Wabah  Manomin  (Senator  Kice)  to  come  and  settle  all  these  ques 
tions.  But  they  say  truly  an  unjust  treaty  will  never  be  approved  by 
the  Indians.  It  must  lead  to  war.  The  people,  who  have  no  interest 
in  the  gains  of  this  wicked  system,  are  desirous  for  such  reform ;  but 
the  agitations,  the  threats  of  public  speakers,  the  retaliatory  measures 
offered  in  the  Legislature,  are  all  read  by  half-bloods  on  the  border, 
and  repeated  with  exaggeration  to  Indians,  and  they  are  like  goads 
to  drive  them  to  madness. 

There  are  questions  pressing  upon  us  more  grave  than  the  hanging 
of  a  few  hundred  Indian  prisoners.  They  concern  a  nation's  broken 
faith  and  the  reform  of  a  crying  evil.  Deeply  as  our  people  feel  on 
the  question  of  slavery,  they  may  see  here  on  the  border  a  system 
which  in  curses  to  body  and  soul,  in  the  loss  of  manhood,  home,  and 
heaven,  has  worked  out  a  degradation  to  Bed  men  which  slavery 
never  has  done  for  the  African  race. 

For  openly  asking  this  reform  I  have  been  accused  of  sympathy 
with  savage  crimes.  The  story  was  sent  out  on  the  wings  of  the 
wind  that  my  absence  from  my  diocese  was  to  secure  pardon  for  sav- 
nge  murderers,  when  the  truth  was  that  I  visited  Washington  at  the 
request  of  the  governor  to  secure  protection  for  our  defenseless  people, 
and  I  delayed  my  return  simply  to  secure  relief  for  our  poor  homeless 
sufferers.  I  have  no  desire  to  condemn  individuals.  There  have 
been  Indian  traders  and  Indian  agents  who  have  desired  to  do  their 
duty,  but  they  were  utterly  powerless.  The  blame  of  the  Sioux  mas 
sacre  does  not  lie  at  the  agent's  door.  The  same  system  which  has 
destroyed  Indian  missions  has  fettered  them.  I  submit  to  every  man 
•  the  question  whether  the  time  has  not  come  for  a  nation  to  hear  the 
cry  of  wrong,  if  not  for  the  sake  of  the  heathen,  for  the  sake  of  the 
memory  of  our  friends  whose  bones  are  bleaching  on  our  prairies.  I 
should  feel  less  sad  at  this  history  of  sorrow  if  I  did  not  see  that  in 
Canada  there  has  never  been  an  Indian  massacre  or  an  Indian  war. 
They  are  not  compelled,  as  we,  to  remove  the  Indians  or  live  in  ter 
ror.  They  spend  a  hundredth  part  in  preventing  that  we  spend  in 
suppressing  Indian  outbreaks.  Their  missions  are  prospered  and 
ours  are  blasted — they  live  in  peace,  and  we  live  in  perpetual  strife. 


APPENDIX.  349 

More  than  a  year  ago  I  felt  that  we  were  living  over  a  slumbering 
volcano ;  I  felt  sure  that  the  day  was  at  hand  when  it  would  burst 
forth;  I  plead  with  all  the  earnestness  of  a  man  pleading  for  his 
home;  and  I  believe,  if  my  prayer  had  been  heard,  there  would  be 
no  widowed  wives,  nor  orphaned  children,  nor  blackened  homes  from 
this  savage  war.  Last  fall  I  sent  another  petition  to  our  chief  magis 
trate  signed  by  all  of  our  Northern  Bishops,  and  many  of  the  first 
clergy  and  laity  in  the  nation.  It  was  as  follows  : 

To  his  Excellency  the  President  of  the  United  States: 

SIR, — We  respectfully  call  your  attention  to  the  recent  Indian  out 
break,  which  has  desolated  one  of  the  fairest  portions  of  our  country, 
as  demanding  the  careful  examination  of  the  government. 

The  history  of  our  relations  with  the  Indian  tribes  of  North  Amer 
ica  shows  that  after  they  enter  into  treaty  stipulations  with  the  United 
States  a  rapid  deterioration  always  takes  place.  They  become  de 
graded,  liable  to  savage  outbreaks,  often  incited  to  war,  until  at  last 
the  wretched  remnant  perish  from  the  face  of  the  earth. 

It  is  believed  that  much  of  this  record  has  been  the  result  of  funda 
mental  errors  in  the  policy  of  the  government,  which  thwarts  its  kind 
intentions  toward  this  hopeless  race.  We  therefore  respectfully  call 
your  attention  to  the  following  suggestions : 

First,  That  it  is  impolitic  for  our  government  to  treat  a  heathen 
community  living  within,  our  borders  as  an  independent  nation,  but 
that  they  ought  to  be  regarded  as  our  wards.  So  far  as  we  know, 
the  English  government  has  never  had  an  Indian  war  in  Canada, 
while  we  have  seldom  passed  a  year  without  one. 

Second,  That  it  is  dangerous  to  ourselves  and  to  them  to  leave  these 
Indian  tribes  without  a  government,  not  subject  to  our  own  laws,  and 
where  every  corrupt  influence  of  the  border  must  inevitably  foster  a 
spirit  of  revenge  leading  to  murder  and  war. 

Third,  That  the  solemn  responsibility  of  the  care  of  a  heathen  race 
requires  that  the  agent  and  servants  of  the  government  who  have 
them  in  charge  shall  be  men  of  eminent  fitness,  and  in  no  case  should 
such  offices  be  regarded  as  a  reward  for  political  service. 

Fourth,  That  every  feeling  of  honor  and  of  justice  demands  that 
the  Indian  funds  which  we  hold  from  them  as  a  trust  shall  be  care 
fully  expended  under  some  well-devised  system  which  will  encourage 
their  efforts  toward  civilization. 

Fifth,  That  the  present  system  7>f  Indian  trade  is  mischievous  and 
demoralizing,  and  ought  to  be  so  amended  as  to  protect  the  Indian, 


350  APPENDIX. 

and  wholly  to  prevent  the  possibility  of  the  sale  of  the  patrimony  of 
the  tribe  to  satisfy  individual  debts. 

Sixth,  That  it  is  believed  that  the  history  of  our  dealings  with  the 
Indians  has  been  marked  by  gross  acts  of  injustice  and  robbery,  such 
as  could  not  be  prevented  under  the  present  system  of  management, 
and  that  these  wrongs  have  often  proved  the  prolific  cause  of  war  and 
bloodshed.  It  is  due  to  these  helpless  Bed  men  that  these  evils  shall 
be  redressed,  and  without  this  we  can  not  hope  for  the  blessing  of  Al 
mighty  God  in  our  efforts  to  secure  permanent  peace  and  tranquillity 
on  our  western  border. 

We  feel  that  these  results  can  not  be  secured  without  much  careful 
thought,  and  .therefore  request  you  to  take  such  steps  as  may  be  nec 
essary  to  appoint  a  commission  of  men  of  high  character,  who  have 
no  political  ends  to  subserve,  to  whom  may  be  referred  this  whole 
question,  in  order  that  they  may  devise  a  more  perfect  system  for  the 
administration  of  Indian  affairs,  which  shall  redress  these  wrongs, 
preserve  the  honor  of  the  government,  and  call  down  upon  us  the 
blessings  of  God. 

H.  B.  WHIPPLE,  Bishop  of  Minnesota. 

T.  H.  CLARK,  Bishop  of  Khode  Island. 

JACKSON  KEMPER,  Bishop  of  Wisconsin. 

C.  S.  HAWKS,  Bishop  of  Missouri. 

GEORGE  BURGESS,  Bishop  of  Maine. 

HENRY  J.  WIIITEHOUSE,  Bishop  of  Illinois. 

ALONZO  POTTER,  Bishop  of  Pennsylvania. 

CARLTON  CHASE,  Bishop  of  New  Hampshire. 

ALFRED  LEE,  Bishop  of  Delaware. 

CHARLES  P.  M'!LVAINE,  Bishop  of  Ohio. 

B.  B.  SMITH,  Bishop  of  Kentucky. 

MANTON  EASTBURN,  Bishop  of  Massachusetts. 

HORATIO  POTTER,  Bishop  of  New  York. 

G.  T.  BEDELL,  Assistant  Bishop  of  Ohio. 

S.  P.  PARKER,  Rector  of  St.  Paul's  Church,  Stockton. 

GEO.  C.  SHATTUCK,  Deputy  from  Massachusetts. 

ANDREW  OLIVER,  Rec.  Immanuel  Ch.,  Bellows  Falls, Vt. 

J.  L.  CLARK,  Rector  St.  John's  Ch.,Waterbury,  Conn. 

M.  SCHUYLER,  Rector  of  Christ  Church,  St.  Louis. 

T.  WILCOXON,  Missionary  in  Minnesota. 

R.  S.  ADAMS,  Rector  St.  Andrew's  Ch.,  Brooklyn,  N.  Y. 

FRANCIS  CHASE,  Rec.  Sf.  Andrew's  Ch.,  Hopkinton,  N.  H. 

ALEX.  BURGESS,  Rector  St.  Luke's  Ch.,  Portland,  Maine. 


APPENDIX. 


351 


JOHN  W.  ANDREWS,  of  Ohio. 

ERASTUS  BURR,  of  Ohio. 

WM.  WELSH,  of  Philadelphia. 

MURRAY  HOFFMAN,  of  New  York. 

ISAAC  ATWATER,  Ass.  Justice  Supreme  Court,  Minn. 

Jos.  C.  TALBOT,  Missionary  Bishop  of  Northwest. 

WM.  BACON  STEVENS,  Assist.  Bishop  of  Pennsylvania. 

HENRY  W.  LEE,  Bishop  of  Diocese  of  Iowa. 

GEORGE  UPFOLD,  Bishop  of  Indiana. 

NICHOLAS  HOPPIN,  Rec.  Christ  Ch.,  Cambridge,  Mass. 

JOHN  E.  WARREN,  of  St.  Paul. 

E.  T.  WILDER,  Red  Wing,  Minnesota. 

L.  BRADISH,  of  New  York. 

SAMUEL  B.  EUGGLES,  of  New  York. 

FRED.  S.  WINSTON,  of  New  York. 

I  am  sick  at  heart ;  I  fear  the  words  of  one  of  our  statesmen  to  me 
were  true :  "  Bishop,  every  word  you  say  of  this  Indian  system  is  true ; 
the  nation  knows  it.  It  is  useless ;  you  will  not  be  heard.  Your 
faith  is  only  like  that  of  the  man  that  stood  on  the  bank  of  the  river 
waiting  for  the  water  to  run  by  that  he  might  cross  over  dry  shod." 
All  I  have  to  say  is,  that  if  a  nation  trembling  on  the  brink  of  anar 
chy  and  ruin  is  so  dead  that  it  will  not  hear  a  plea  to  redress  wrongs 
which  the  whole  people  admit  call  for  reform,  God  in  mercy  pity  us 
and  our  children.  H.  B.  WHIFFLE,  Bishop  of  Minnesota. 

Since  the  bishop  prepared  the  foregoing  paper,  I  have  received  the 
following  letter  from  Mr.  George  Bunga,  of  Leech  Lake.  I  would 
state  that  Mr.  Bunga  is  a  mixed  blood  of  African  and  Chippeway 
descent,  and  from  my  personal  knowledge  of  him  for  many  years 
past  I  know  him  to  be  entirely  reliable  in  his  statements,  and  from  a 
residence  in  the  country  described  by  him  I  can  bear  witness  to  the 
truth  of  them.  J.  LLOYD  BRECK. 

Leech  Lake,  January  28th,  1863. 
To  Rev.  J.  Lloyd  Breck : 

REVEREND  SIR, — Knowing  your  feelings,  and  those  of  the  bishop, 
for  the  Red  men,  I  thought  I  would  write  you  and  let  you  know  what 
was  going  on  in  Indian  matters  in  this  part  of  the  country.  Nothing 
that  we  could  say  could  prevail  on  the  Red  Lake  Indians  to  get  them 
to  go  to  Washington  to  make  a  treaty,  they  had  it  so  firmly  in  their 


352  APPENDIX. 

minds  that  once  they  got  there  they  would  have  to  accept  of  what 
was  offered  them.  They  said  they  were  willing  to  meet  any  one  at 
the  Grand  Forks  next  summer,  and  there  sell  their  lands.  Most  of 
the  annuity  chiefs  have  got  back  from  the  agency,  where  they  were 
called  to  sign  a  treaty  that  had  been  dictated  and  left  by  Judge 
Usher.  They  did  not  sign  it.  The  purport  of  the  treaty  was,  that 
all  the  Mississippi  bands  would  abandon  their  reserves,  and  settle  on 
a  tract  of  country  lying  between  this  and  Cass,  and  Winnipeg  Lakes. 
The  judge  must  have  got  the  idea  from  maps,  or  some  person  that 
wanted  to  have  something  to  say  and  did  not  care  what  he  said,  or 
probably  some  one  had  an  axe  of  his  own  to  grind,  and  after  ground, 
would  not  care  what  became  of  the  Indians,  or  the  whites  that  may 
be  living  with  them.  The  idea  is  ridiculous  to  us  who  know  the 
country.  The  most  of  it  is  swamps,  marshes,  or  the  kind  of  country 
that  produces  the  small,  black,  low  pine.  There  are  only  a  few  small 
lakes,  but  there  is  no  fish  or  rice  in  them.  The  government  land  at 
Cass  Lake  is  nothing  but  this  yellow  pine  and  sand,  and  the  whole 
of  that  country  is  destitute  of  any  kind  of  game,  and  even  rabbits  are 
but  few.  It  is  true,  at  this  lake  there  is  a  fair  view  for  them  to  get 
along,  and  their  children  after  them,  and  in  such  a  kind  of  country, 
with  one  tenth  of  the  money  that  the  government  has  already  spent 
for  them,  would  induce  them,  little  by  little,  and  would  hope  to  be 
come  another  people,  and  their  children  would  be  enabled  to  mingle 
among  the  civilized  world.  I  am  led  to  believe  why  their  chances 
to  benefit  the  Indians,  and  to  agree  with  the  wishes  of  the  govern 
ment  are  not  acted  on,  is  because  that  persons  are  sent,  and  too  often 
they  are  men  who  pay  no  attention,  for  the  reason  they  are  afraid 
they  would  not  come  within  their  jurisdiction,  and  of  course  would  be 
no  benefit  to  their  pockets,  and  some  of  them  would  be  against  any 
thing  of  the  kind  if  it  did  not  suit  them.  Few  persons  are  so  well 
acquainted  with  the  Chippeways  and  their  former  country  as  myself, 
for  I  have  lived  with  almost  every  band  from  Sault  St.  Mary  to  this, 
and  am  well  acquainted  with  all  their  lakes  and  rivers,  from  the  Lakes 
Superior  to  Michigan,  and  I  honestly  say  I  don't  know  of  a  lake  or 
river  that  abounds  in  fish  as  the  Red  Lake,  and  Red  Lake  River,  and 
from  thence  up  the  Thieving  River.  From  the  first  time  I  became 
acquainted  with  these  rivers  it  seemed  to  me  it  was  designed  by  the 
Great  Spirit  for  the  home  of  the  Indians.  There  is  every  thing  to 
make  them  content.  Plenty  of  good  land  (part  prairie),  and  fish 
right  at  their  doors.  The  objection  I  see,  that  there  is  not  so  many 
maple-trees  as  could  be  wished  for,  but  perhaps  some  could  be  found 


APPENDIX.  353 

in  the  interior.  Reverend  sir,  it  looks  to  me  that  we  have  got  to  a 
crisis  that  has  not  been  known  in  this  country.  The  Indians  are 
very  much  dissatisfied,  and  the  whites  below  won't  have  the  Indians 
about  them  any  more,  and  we  all  feel  that  something  has  got  to  be 
done.  There  is  some  government  land,  but  it  is  and  has  always  been 
occupied  by  these  Indians  as  their  sugar-camp.  At  the  time  of  their 
treaty  of  1855  they  were  given  to  understand  that  they  might  use  it, 
and  the  whites  would  not  want  it  for  one  hundred  years  to  come. 
Knowing  the  country  as  I  do,  I  am  aware  that  there  is  not  five  sugar- 
camps  within  two  days'  travel  of  this  lake  that  was  belonging  to  the 
Leech  Lake  Indians,  and  if  the  Lower  Indians  are  moved  on  their 
lands,  they  will  have  to  occupy  those  sugar-camps,  and  thence  would 
come  the  strife  among  themselves  and  dissatisfaction  against  the 
whites,  and  perhaps  the  cause  of  more  trouble.  Of  late  years  these 
Indians  have  had  as  hard  times  for  want  of  food  in  the  summer  as 
they  have  in  the  winter;  the  only  difference  is  the  warm  weather, 
and  berries  and  roots.  There  is  not  one  half  of  the  fish  caught  now 
that  there  was  at  the  time  you  resided  at  this  lake ;  in  fact,  we  know 
that  it  can't  be  otherwise  when  we  know  that  every  day  there  is  from 
three  to  four  hundred  nets  in  the  water,  and  from  eight  hundred  to 
one  thousand  Indians  living  by  them.  Reverend  sir,  how  can  it  be 
expected  that  Indians  can  live  in  such  a  country  as  I  have  described, 
which  I  defy  any  one  to  say  to  the  contrary.  It  is  to  be  supposed 
that  they  will  hear  of  the  kind  of  country  that  they  are  required  to 
settle  on,  and  it  is  my  poor  opinion  that  they  will  never  go  unless  the 
soldiers  drive  and  keep  them  there.  Even  if  they  went  there  they 
can't  get  an  existence  without  they  rob  and  plunder  the  whites,  and 
thence  perhaps  the  beginning  of  the  extermination  of  these  Indians. 
Pardon  me  if  I  say  here,  that  if  the  government  is  induced  to  move 
and  keep  these  Indians,  what  will  be  the  cost.  I  am  to  be  pitied  for 
writing  as  I  do ;  would  it  not  be  more  satisfactory  to  the  government, 
and  thousands  of  dollars  cheaper,  to  move  them  at  once  to  a  suitable 
country,  and  where  they  would  be  out  of  the  way  of  the  whites? 

I  wrote  to  Senator  Rice  a  few  days  ago,  and  stated  to  him  about 
the  Red  Lake  Country,  but  was  not  so  particular  in  defining  as  here, 
for  I  don't  see  how  the  Indians  can  be  friends  to  the  whites  in  such 
a  state  of  affairs.  Another  question,  Who  is  the  person  that  can 
straighten  out  things  and  make  the  path  smooth?  Such  a  man  is 
now  wanted.  Of  late  the  Indians  have  been  so  mixed  up  that  now 
they  have  no  confidence  in  the  government  or  its  officers.  I  presume 
the  bad  health  of  Senator  Rice  would  not  allow  him  to  come  to  this 


354  APPENDIX. 

wild  country,  for  I  candidly  believe  he  is  the  only  man  that  can  make 
a  removal  of  the  Indians  satisfactory  to  them,  for  it  must  be  taken  into 
consideration  that  it  is  ten  times  more  difficult  to  move  Indians  than 
it  is  to  make  a  treaty  to  buy  their  lands.  Senator  Rice  has  this  in 
favor  more  than  any  one  else  that  could  be  sent  by  the  government. 
Every  trader  and  half-breed,  or  any  person  of  influence,  are  his  friends, 
and  that  is  a  good  deal  in  removing  Indians ;  and  these  people  have 
always  told  them  that  he  was  the  friend  of  the  Indian,  and  would  do 
every  thing  in  justice  that  lay  in  his  power  for  them.  The  cry  is,  I 
wish  Wabe  Manomin  would  come  to  us  once  more.  They  have  that 
respect  for  him  that  in  their  smoking  and  camp-fires  it  is  seldom  but 
that  they  speak  of  him.  My  sincere  wish  is  that  the  Indian  Depart 
ment  at  Washington  only  knew  what  a  suitable  country  there  was 
vacant  for  the  permanent  home  of  the  Chippeways  ;  it  appears  to  me 
it  would  be  adopted,  for  it  is  of  no  use  to  the  whites,  and  it  would 
agree  with  one  of  the  great  wishes  of  the  government  by  placing  the 
Indian  where  he  would  not  be  in  the  way  of  the  white  population, 
and,  with  some  care  on  the  part  of  the  government,  the  ruination  of 
all  Indians  (fire-water)  could  be  kept  from  him. 

Reverend  sir,  what  I  have  written  is  strictlv  true  ;  and  how  proud 
I  would  be  if  I  saw  some  person  (disinterested,  and  some  sympathy 
and  justice  to  the  Indians),  to  be  here  at  the  opening  of  the  Lakes, 
say  the  25th  of  April,  and  see  the  country  that  I  have  here  written 
about ;  I  feel  confident  that  my  opinion  would  be  the  opinion  of  all 
who  wished  for  the  existence  of  the  Chippeways  some  years  longer. 
I  write  of  this  country  because  I  know  that  there  is  no  other  part  of 
the  former  Chippeway  country  that  they  can  be  moved  to  and  live. 

Reverend  sir,  knowing  how  hard  the  bishop  works  for  the  welfare 
of  the  Indian,  I  beg  of  you  to  show  him  this,  my  poor  opinion  as  re 
gards  the  removal  of  the  Indians.  I  ought  to  have  said,  too,  that  the 
Otter  Tail  band  was  ordered  by  Judge  Usher  to  come  on  their  re 
serves  at  this  lake.  So  they  will  have  to  get  a  share  of  these  sugar- 
camps  ;  for  you  are  aware  that  a  Chippeway  without  fish,  or  the 
means  to  make  sugar,  would  be  as  strange  to  him  as  a  white  man  with 
out  a  shirt.  Your  unworthy  servant,  G.  BUNGA. 


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LD  21-100»n-7,'33 


U.C.BERKELEY  LIBRARIES 


H+ 


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